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Latest news blog

Preferred option selected for Colac water supply upgrade

An interconnection with the Wurdee Boluc channel near Murroon has been selected as the preferred upgrade option to secure Colac's future water supply.

In 2012, Barwon Water identified the need to upgrade Colac's water supply capacity based on predicted growth, climate change and potential risks to current infrastructure.

Six potential options were shortlisted, and we undertook an extensive community and stakeholder consultation campaign which included a survey of local residents and the formation of a dedicated community reference group.

The selected option — water from Wurdee Boluc channel via Murroon (option 4) — provides Colac with the greatest level of supply diversity. It would create a second pipeline into Colac and access to multiple supply sources including the West Barwon Reservoir, the Wurdee Boluc channel and Barwon Downs borefield (if required).

This option guards against risks to the current supply system including bushfires, land slips and any failure of the existing pipeline from the West Gellibrand and Olangolah reservoirs.

The decision is in line with the Colac Community Reference Group's independent assessment and unanimous decision to endorse the Murroon option. Securing an alternative supply was also considered the number 1 priority among surveyed Colac residents.

The project would involve constructing a small storage basin next to the Wurdee Boluc channel between Barwon Downs and Murroon and a pumping station and pipeline to Colac.

Further investigations will determine the exact size and location of the proposed storage basin, pipeline route and connection points. Project timing will be assessed based on Colac's water security outlook.

  Colac water supply upgrade

  Media release: Preferred option selected for Colac supply upgrade

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Stage 2 water restrictions lifted in Colac

Stage 2 water restrictions will be removed in Colac and district effective 1 am, this Saturday 22 June 2013.

The Permanent Water Saving Plan will then apply across Barwon Water's entire serviced region, including Colac and surrounding towns.

Under the Permanent Water Saving Plan:

  • hoses must not leak and be fitted with a trigger nozzle, and
  • watering systems can be used 6 am - 10 am daily. Hand-held hoses can be used any time.

After a dry start to the year, Colac's storages had dropped to a low of 31% when Stage 2 restrictions were introduced in May.

The decision to downgrade restrictions follows a significant improvement in the city’s storage levels, which have increased to almost 69% after more than 110 mm of rainfall was recorded in the catchment last week.

  Permanent Water Saving Plan

  Colac region water storages

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Scheduled website maintenance

Due to some important maintenance requirements, this website will be unavailable from 9 pm this Saturday 22 June until approximately 12 noon on Sunday 23 June 2013.

We have scheduled the maintenance at this time to minimise disruptions to our customers. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

For emergencies and faults (for instance, a burst water main) our 24-hour emergency contact centre will be available during this time.

For urgent enquiries, please call 1300 656 007.

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Prices reduced over the next 5 years

Barwon Water will be reducing prices over the next 5 years following the approval of our 2013–2018 Water Plan by the Essential Services Commission (ESC), the independent industry regulator.

The ESC today approved a decrease of 7.6% over the life of the plan, equating to an average decrease of 1.6% a year (excluding CPI).

Once inflation of 2.5% is factored in for the coming financial year, prices will rise by 0.9%. CPI is indexed and applied annually.

For a typical residential customer using 153 kilolitres of water a year, this means an increase of 17 cents a week, or $8.91 over the financial year. Bills vary depending on usage.

The new charges for residential customers are:

  • Water volume: $2.2332 per kilolitre (1,000 litres)
  • Water service: $42.44 per quarter (three months)
  • Sewerage service: $136.91 per quarter.

Full details of all new charges will be available before 1 July.

Barwon Water is conscious of cost-of-living pressures on the community. We are committed to providing relief from the price rises of the past five years that were necessary to deliver water security to the Geelong region. With that objective achieved, we have switched our focus to minimising customer prices and continuing the efficient delivery of quality services.

  Media release: Prices reduced (issued Tuesday 18 June 2013)

  Fees and charges: residential customers

  Fees and charges: business customers

  Essential Services Commission: Water Price Review 2013–2018

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Rainfall boosts water storages

Steady rainfall over the past few days has helped top up storages across our service region.

The West Barwon Reservoir is Geelong's main source of water. The storage gained 1.8 billion litres following solid rainfall in the Otways yesterday.

About 87 mm of rainfall was recorded at West Barwon Reservoir, while the Bureau of Meteorology weather station at nearby Mt Sabine registered more than 128 mm.

Colac's water supply has been boosted too, with the city's storages rising from 40% at the start of the week to over 64% today.

West Gellibrand Reservoir — Colac's main supply — recorded 108 mm of rain and gained 668 million litres in the past two days.

Perhaps even more importantly, the recent rainfall last has saturated the ground, priming the catchments to maximize run-off from future rain.

If the Otways continue to receive good falls, we expect to see a strong recovery in Colac's storages. We will be reviewing Stage 2 water restrictions currently in place in Colac as storages improve.

You can check your local water storage levels here.

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Armstrong Creek sewerage connection

Barwon Water will connect key Armstrong Creek sewerage infrastructure next week.

It's a major project: connecting the sewer network in the new development to the 1.65 metre diameter sewer main that links Geelong to the Black Rock treatment facility in Connewarre.

Four pumps will run around-the-clock, diverting sewage through a temporary bypass pipeline around the connection point. Flows of up to 800 litres per second are expected.

Works are being carried out on Harvey Avenue, north of Warralily Boulevard.

We expect some odour at the site while works are underway.

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Open day: Apollo Bay water supply upgrade

We are opening our construction site so residents can learn more about our investment in the long-term water security of Apollo Bay, Marengo and Skenes Creek.

Panoramic image of basin site under construction. Earthmoving equipment features in the foreground. Green hills and farmland can be seen in the distance.

A new water storage basin in Apollo Bay will spell the end of summer water restrictions in Apollo Bay, Marengo and Skenes Creek.

The new 250 million litre water storage will meet forecast growth and will complement the existing 125 million litre basin in Marengo.

Want to find out more? Come along to our open day this weekend. Learn about the new basin, pumping stations and pipelines. Meet the project team, and get an update on project progress.

Please wear flat-soled, closed-toe shoes.


11 am — 3 pm

Sunday 26 May 2013


Basin construction site

120 Barham River Road (before Conns Lane), Apollo Bay

  Google map

This project is being delivered by the Barwon Water Allliance.


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Colac Water Reclamation Plant open day

Our Colac Water Reclamation Plant is opening its doors to the public.

Located on Lake Colac, the plant treats up to 9 million litres of sewage daily, producing valuable Class C recycled water.

The Colac Water Reclamation Plant treats up to 9 million litres of domestic and industrial wastewater daily.

Join us for a guided tour of the facility, enjoy a barbecue lunch and have a coffee on us.

Please wear flat-soled, closed-toe shoes.


11 am — 2 pm

Sunday 26 May 2013


Colac Water Reclamation Plant

Treatment Plant Road (Flaxmill Road), Colac

 Google map

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Stage 2 water restrictions for Colac

Stage 2 water restrictions will be introduced in Colac and surrounding towns on Sunday 12 May 2013 due to below-average rainfall and declining storage levels.

Colac's storages currently sit at 35.5%, compared to 52% at the same time last year.

The Colac region recorded its lowest ever rainfall for the first three months of this year, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting little relief in sight.

Restrictions will ensure the district has sufficient water until the reservoirs recover. Fortunately, this is possible with a single significant downpour.

We will continue to monitor storages, forecast and demand trends daily. Restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

  Colac water storages


Summary of Stage 2 water restrictions

Under Stage 2 restrictions:

  • watering lawns is banned, but exemptions can be granted for newly-laid turf
  • watering systems are permitted only between 6 am — 8 am and 6 pm — 8 pm on alternate days
  • cars may be washed with a high-pressure hose or a bucket (but not a hand-held hose).

  Stage 2 water restrictions (residential) Colac and district


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Stage 4 restrictions to be lifted in Apollo Bay


Stage 4 water restrictions will be lifted in the coastal townships of Apollo Bay, Marengo and Skenes Creek from Sunday 12 May 2013. The Permanent Water Saving Plan will then apply.

  Permanent Water Saving Plan


Recent rains have replenished the storage basin at Marengo, which now holds 70% of capacity. Local storages had dipped below 50% in March, but have been recovering steadily since. With the tourist season and Easter influx of holidaymakers over, demand is also expected to drop.

  Apollo Bay water storages


New basin update

Work is progressing well on the new 250-million litre storage basin in Apollo Bay, to complement the existing 125-million litre Marengo storage.

Excavation works are underway, steel framework has been erected for the transfer pumping station and brickwork has begun.

The new storage is expected to be operational in mid-2014 and will meet forecast growth until 2055.

  Apollo bay new water storage


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