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Latest news blog


Introducing Barwon Asset Solutions

We’re proud to announce the establishment of Barwon Asset Solutions – a 100% locally-based maintenance services company, and wholly-owned subsidiary of Barwon Water.

Barwon Asset Solutions replaces our previous partnership with Perth-based company Programmed Facilities Management. We’re extremely pleased that all Programmed employees transitioned to Barwon Asset Solutions, ensuring local skills, knowledge and experience are retained in our region.

For you, it’s business as usual. We’re capitalising on local expertise, modern technologies, and a proactive approach to solving issues and providing exceptional customer service. While certain operational and maintenance services will now be undertaken by Barwon Asset Solutions, customers will still contact Barwon Water. As always, we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For us, this exciting new direction represents our vision of enabling regional prosperity and is an investment in our region’s future. From next year, we intend to expand the business and seek further opportunities. Barwon Asset Solutions will enhance productivity, create jobs and opportunities for the region and help maintain affordable pricing.


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Don't let a drop become an ocean

We want to help our customers find and fix leaks, saving water and money.

It’s all a part of Leak Week which runs from 25 November to 1 December 2017.

Our customer programs have revealed residential leaks are wasting millions of litres of water in the Geelong region. A single tap leaking one drip per second wastes more than 12,000 litres of water a year!

Australia-wide studies show leaks can cause water losses as high as 27% at residential properties and 15% on farms.

Leak Week is an initiative of the Victorian Government through its award-winning Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP).

Barwon Water’s Leak Week campaign supports its Strategy 2030 commitment to sustainable water use and zero waste.

 

Tips to spot leaks

Inside. Look for mould, mildew, peeling paint or rotting wood. This could indicate an underground or hidden pipe leak.  Dark, swollen and spongy plasterboard or laminated board could be a sign of a water leak in a kitchen or bathroom basin.

Outside. Look for corroded pipes, increased grass growth around piping and wet patches on the ground.

Use your meter. Record the reading on your water meter. Wait at least 30 minutes (longer if you can, or even overnight), ensuring you’re not running any taps or using appliances such as your dishwasher, washing machine or toilets. If the numbers on the meters have changed, you might have a leak.

Leak hot spot: toilets.  Toilets are a common sources of plumbing leaks. Put a few drops of food colouring in the cistern, wait for a few minutes, and watch for any change in the toilet bowl water.  If the colour appears in the toilet bowl it’s a sign of a leaky cistern.

For more Leak Week hints and tips, follow us on Facebook.

 Barwon Water


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Investing in the Moorabool

Barwon Water is proud to partner with the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and the local community to restore the health of the Moorabool River.

The Living Moorabool is the first of 10 flagship waterways projects across the state, and comes with a $520,000 funding commitment from Barwon Water over the next four years.

We’re focussing on promoting the shared benefits of a healthier river including swimming holes, fishing spots, and improved recreational facilities.  We’re also working hand-in-hand with Traditional Owners to ensure Aboriginal values are preserved, and with the community through an innovative ‘citizen science’ project.

Greater Geeelong’s drinking water is partly supplied from reservoirs on the Moorabool River, which is home to some of the most endangered plant species in Australia and wildlife such as birds, fish and platypus.

The Living Moorabool project is part of the state government’s Water for Victoria plan which supports the environmental, cultural and recreational benefits that regional waterways provide to communities. It’s also a key partnership identified in Barwon Water’s Strategy 2030 and an outstanding example of how we’re working together to facilitate regional prosperity.   

  Discover the Living Moorabool website  

  Victorian Government media release: Investment to improve the health of the Moorabool River 


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Solar array underway

We’re making the switch to renewable energy by 2025, with a 1 megawatt solar array being built at the Black Rock water reclamation plant, and an another 2 megawatt array approved.

The $3.4 million Black Rock Solar Project will see more than 2,800 panels generating about 1.3 gigawatt hours a year — around 13% of the treatment plant’s energy requirements. The project is expected to cut our annual emissions by about 1,500 tonnes and save $185,000 per year, putting downward pressure on customer prices.

Stage 2 of the solar project was recently approved, which will deliver a further 2 gigawatt hours a year by 2020. And we’ve fast-tracked smaller solar systems at five operational sites to produce an extra 500 kilowatts of renewable energy.

The solar farm is a flagship project for Barwon Water’s Strategy 2030, which includes a target of 100% renewable energy by 2025 and zero net emissions by 2030. And through our extensive engagement for the 2018 Price Submission, our customers and community told us they support our efforts to reduce emissions and switch to renewables.

Stage 1 of the solar array is on track for completion early next year.


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Investing in Lorne's water supply for decades to come

Construction works on Lorne’s Allen Reservoir over the next six months will increase the reservoir’s flood level capacity and strengthen the dam wall.

Allen Reservoir, Lorne.

The project involves increasing the flood capacity of the concrete spillway and upgrading the reservoir embankment to better align with current engineering standards. These improvements will ensure the reservoir can cope in extreme weather conditions, particularly during flood flows.

Conducting the spillway and embankment elements of the project simultaneously means we can complete the important works as efficiently as possible and minimise disruption to the town.

Residents may notice increased construction vehicles and contracted construction workers in the area, particularly between now and Christmas. Truck routes will run along Otway Street and will operate Monday to Friday between 7 am and 6 pm.

The upgrade is key to securing Lorne’s water supply into the future and reduce the risk of infrastructure failures. A secure supply is vital to support the town’s liveability, jobs and tourism, and reinforces Barwon Water’s 2030 vision of becoming an enabler of regional prosperity.


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Leak detection trial saves Colac customers water and money

An innovative trial in Colac is helping residential customers track their water use and detect hidden leaks, saving water and money.

Numerous hidden and silent leaks have already been found by the technology that, if undetected, would have amounted to significant water losses and costs for customers.

In the first six months of the trial, 10% the homes involved were found to have leaks. If undetected, these losses would have exceeded 840,000 litres a year and would have amounted to roughly $1,900 in additional costs.

Barbara Basham was notified of a possible leak at her Colac home. She couldn’t find any obvios leaks, so contacted a plumber who found the culprit: a leaking pipe in an old external laundry. As the pipe was underneath a thin concrete floor, there were no visible signs of a leak, although it was losing  more than 2,300 litres a day!

The trial is an extension of the successful On-Farm Leak Detection program using Taggle technology that has saved local farmers an estimated 100 million litres of water over the past four years. It also supports Barwon Water’s 2030 Strategy commitments to sustainable water use and zero waste.

The residential trial will continue for a further 18 months. The specialised meters will provide valuable data for Barwon Water to assess whether this type of technology is an effective tool for early leak detection in a residential setting.

 


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Strategic partnerships

We’re forging bold, new strategic partnerships, cementing our position as a key partner in the economic, social, environmental and cultural prosperity of our region.

Today, Barwon Water renewed its commitment to Future Proofing Geelong, and yesterday signed a partnership agreement with The Gordon. In September, we formalised our partnership with Surf Coast Shire Council, and we’re working with local leaders including Deakin University and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority to further strengthen our working relationships.

 

Future Proofing Geelong

Barwon Water today renewed its commitment to Future Proofing Geelong, signing a new three-year Memorandum of Understanding.
Adapting to climate change is pivotal to our core business, and – as a major greenhouse emitter – mitigating our own impacts is essential to ongoing regional prosperity.

By joining forces with the City of Greater Geelong and other local leaders, we are advancing the sustainability of the region, attracting investment and jobs in clean technology, and developing Geelong as a showcase of a community transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter (third from right) joins local leaders in signing the Future Proofing Geelong Memorandum of Understanding at The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre. 

 

The Gordon

Yesterday, Barwon Water officially recognised a long-standing relationship with The Gordon.

More than simply an employer of choice for Gordon graduates, we’re looking ahead to a range of collaborations to achieve tangible and lasting benefits for the community.

In particular, we’re excited about working together to lead the region in the renewable energy space; leveraging the synergies of The Gordon’s innovation and excellence as a niche skills provider with Barwon Water’s commitment to building cleaner and greener infrastructure – such as the large-scale solar array soon to be built at Black Rock.

 

Surf Coast Shire Council

Our three-year partnership agreement with Surf Coast Shire Council focuses on renewable energy projects, connected communities, shared services and urban planning with the ultimate goal of delivering regional prosperity to the community.

We’re also exploring opportunities to consider shared procurement, shared project management services to deliver large-scale infrastructure, and placements and secondments for our employees.

 


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Geelong sewer works almost complete

Innovative technology continues to pay dividends as the rehabilitation of one of Geelong’s oldest and most critical sewer mains is on schedule, with minimal disruption to customers.

The 100-year old reinforced concrete main contributes significantly to the health and prosperity of the region by transferring much of Geelong’s wastewater to the Black Rock water reclamation plant for treatment.

Maintenance on our critical assets is fundamentally important to the future of the region. By utilising new technological advances, we’ve been able to significantly minimise disruptions and impacts on customers.

The complex underground work has been completed without the need for heavy machinery digging up roads and footpaths. Regular water and sewerage services have not been impacted, and we’ve worked to minimise disruption as much as possible.

Work to clean and reline the sewer along Malop Street, between Moorabool and Bellerine streets, was completed earlier this year. The project is due for completion by the end of the year.

  Geelong ovoid sewer rehabilitation


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Strong results for catchment health

Pesticide detection levels in our catchments have decreased by almost 90% over the past decade.

The results show our catchment monitoring and risk management program is rigorous and robust.

An independent accredited testing laboratory conducted about 3,000 tests for pesticides and herbicides across our catchments during 2016/2017.

In that time, we’ve also invested more than $200,000 to support environmental programs and activities within our catchment areas.

  Catchment management 


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Barwon Downs borefield study results

New scientific data showing the impacts of groundwater pumping on Yeodene Swamp (Big Swamp), also provides us with information to assist in planning and budgeting for remediation.

The research was commissioned in 2013 by Barwon Water as part of a comprehensive groundwater monitoring program. Acid-sulfate soil experts reviewed the interaction between groundwater pumping and the drying of Big Swamp, as well as options for remediation.

The study confirmed releases of acidic water from the swamp into Boundary Creek were largely the result of very dry climatic conditions and groundwater extraction.

The results of the monitoring program are helping to build a strong understanding of the connection between groundwater pumping from the borefield and nearby waterways, including Big Swamp and Boundary Creek.

The data provides a solid scientific basis for us to develop options to improve the condition of Big Swamp and minimise acid events in the future. We are committed to remediating the swamp to improve water quality and flows downstream.

The outcomes of this research, as well as community feedback being gathered through a series of workshops, will provide valuable information for our borefield licence renewal application, due to be submitted to Southern Rural Water in late 2017.

To find out more about the licence renewal project and access technical reports please visit our dedicated project page and “Your say” microsite.

  Your say: Barwon Downs licence renewal

  Barwon Downs borefield licence renewal 

 


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