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Latest news blog

Holiday season trading hours 2013-2014

Our customer service centres and call centre will operate on a reduced schedule over the Christmas / new year period.

For water or sewerage related emergencies and faults (such as a burst main), we are always available though our 24-hour hotline: 1300 656 007.

We would like to wish all our customers a safe and happy festive season and all the best for the new year.

Tuesday 24 December 2013 (Christmas Eve) Open until 12.30 pm
Wednesday 25 December 2013 (Christmas Day) Closed
Thurdsay 26 December 2013 (Boxing Day) Closed
Friday 27 December 2013 Closed
Monday 30 December 2013 Open
Tuesday 31 December 2013 (New Year's Eve) Open until 3 pm
Wednesday 1 January 2014 (New Year's Day) Closed
Thursday 2 January 2014 onward Open

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Apollo Bay water supply update

The Apollo Bay water storage project is expected to be completed in February 2014.

55,000 m2 of lining are being installed in the new 250 ML water storage basin.

The new 250 million litre storage basin is progressing well, with construction of the embankments finished and a 55,000 m2 liner installed.

Reinstatement work has started and will continue over the Christmas break.

Commissioning (operational testing) of the two pumping stations has begun. The temporary pumping station has been removed and the area has been revegetated by Southern Otway Landcare Network.

The Apollo Bay Water Treatment Plant is also being upgraded. Its capacity is set to increase from 2.5 to 4 million litres a day.

  Apollo Bay new water storage

  Stage 2 water restrictions (residential) Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo

  Stage 2 water restrictions (business) Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo

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New hands on deck at Geelong Community Nursery

Barwon Water’s plant nursery was today re-launched as Geelong Community Nursery under a new partnership with not-for-profit organisation Karingal and its social enterprise Kommercial.

Established more than 20 years ago, the nursery has produced more than a million indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation, landscaping and restoration projects and played host to hundreds of school and community groups.

Image shows David Sutherland and Amanda Smith at the Geelong Community Nursery.

The Geelong Community Nursery is operated as an inclusive partnership between Kommercial and Barwon Water.

The partnership comes as part of Barwon Water’s organisational change program. Under the agreement, Karingal will continue to:

  • propogate and grow provenance-specific (locally derived) indigenous plants for a range of Barwon Water projects
  • provide a “hands-on” environmental and horticultural experience for local schools and community groups
  • supply and maintain indoor plants for Barwon Water offices

Two Barwon Water employees have transferred to Karingal to continue work at the nursery.

Kommercial — an Australian Disability Enterprise and an initiative of Karingal — will take over day-to-day operations at the nursery from 1 December 2013.



  Google map: Geelong Community Nursery

  Media release: New hands on deck at Geelong Community Nursery

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West Barwon Reservoir overflows again

The West Barwon Reservoir began overflowing at the weekend following three months of above-average rainfall.

The reservoir, located near Forrest in the Otway Ranges National Park, is the region’s second-largest surface water storage after Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, which is also at capacity.

The West Barwon Reservoir is spilling. Image credit: Mandy Bishop, Forrest Post.

Water started flowing over the reservoir spillway on Sunday 24 November 2013 at rate of about 450 million litres a day.

The reservoir overflowed for the first time in a decade in July, last year, and spilled several times between July and October 2012.

It is unusual to see the dam spilling in late spring. The last time it overflowed in November was 2001.

August rainfall in the West Barwon catchment was 71% above average, while in September and October it was approximately 28% above average.

  Water storages: Geelong region

  YouTube: West Barwon Reservoir spill July 2012


Public access restricted

Due to road resurfacing works, there is currently no access to the reservoir via Forrest-Apollo Bay Road. Works are expected to be complete by the weekend.

There is limited pedestrian access downsteam of the spillway via Kannglang Road, Forrest.

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Customer billing issues

Barwon Water has been experiencing issues with its customer billing system.

We are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience.

Affected customers will receive a letter with their bill in the coming weeks detailing new payment dates. Your payment and credit histories will not be affected.

Due to delays, some customers may receive two bills in quick succession.

Barwon Water sincerely apologises for any inconvenience.

Should you have any questions regarding your bill or payment options, please contact us.

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Website unavailable for scheduled maintenance

Due to a scheduled software update, this website will be unavailable from 5 pm today, Friday 15 November until approximately 12 noon, Sunday 17 November 2013.

We have scheduled the work 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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Northern Water Plant open day

The Northern Water Plant is opening its doors to the public for the first time.

Visitors will be able to have their first look at the state-of-the-art recycled water facility.

The Northern Water Plant is opening its doors to the public for the first time.

The plant treats up to 7.5 million litres of domestic sewage and trade waste daily from Geelong’s northern suburbs and uses advanced technologies to produce high quality Class A recycled water.

There will be guided tours, giveaways and light refreshments.

Please wear flat-soled, closed-toe shoes.


11 am — 3 pm

Sunday 24 November 2013


Northern Water Plant

240 Station Street, Corio

 Google map

  Northern Water Plant 

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Outsourcing of maintenance services

Barwon Water has decided to outsource its civil maintenance, electrical and mechanical maintenance, land management and stores services to Programmed Facility Management.

The move is part of an organisation-wide efficiency review aimed at reducing costs and keeping customer prices down.

Barwon Water’s Board unanimously selected Programmed Facility Management as the preferred provider from a short-list of four tenderers. Assessment criteria included:

  • cost
  • people management, specifically around affected Barwon Water employees
  • customer service
  • ability to meet performance targets
  • safety, quality and environment systems
  • operating competency
  • ease of implementation
  • delivery model.

Under the proposed arrangement, almost all employees in these areas would be expected to be transferred to Programmed Facility Management and would not lose any of their entitlements.

No contract has been signed. Over the next two weeks, affected employees will be consulted in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement. Feedback will be considered before further negations with Programmed Facility Management.

Any transfer of business would occur next year, with full contract handover in July 2014.

Programmed Facility Management is a good cultural fit for Barwon Water with a strong local presence combined with a proven track-record in the water industry.

  Programmed Facility Management

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Safety awards win

Barwon Water commitment to safety has been recognised at the National Safety Council of Australia’s annual awards, with the organisation placing in two of the seven category awards and taking out the prestigious judges’ choice award.

Safety award winners (from left to right): Shaun Cumming, John Dalton, Kurt Spanswick, Kylie Ramsey, Bronwen Elford and Matt Ward.

The Barwon Water Alliance won the overall ‘Pinnacle Award’ for excellence in workplace health and safety, as well as the award for ‘Best Safety Leadership Program’. The Barwon Water Alliance is a private-sector partnership combining the skills and experience of Barwon Water, design and engineering company GHD and construction company John Holland.

Barwon Water’s in-house Health, Safety and Wellbeing team won the highly commended award for ‘Best Health and Wellbeing Program’.

The National Safety Awards are Australia’s longest-running, independent awards and acknowledge outstanding work health and safety initiatives.

  National Safety Awards

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Stage 2 water restrictions to apply in Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo over summer

Stage 2 water restrictions will be reintroduced in Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo this weekend ahead of summer.

Restrictions will apply from Sunday 3 November 2013 to Sunday 4 May 2014.

Although local water storages are currently above 90%, restrictions will ensure the limited capacity of the Marengo basin copes with the summer influx of holidaymakers.

The new Apollo Bay water storage is on track for completion in 2014. We expect this to be the last time summer restrictions are enforced in these coastal towns.

Under Stage 2 restrictions, lawn watering is prohibited. Watering systems are permitted between 6-8 am and 6-8 pm on alternate days.

We would like to thank all our customers in Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo for their continued cooperation.

  Stage 2 water restrictions — information for residents

  Stage 2 water restrictions — information for businesses

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