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Latest news blog


Lower household water bills

Barwon Water customers will receive an average of $80 off their water bills each financial year for the next four years thanks to the Victorian Coalition Government's Fairer Water Bills initiative.

In Geelong today, Minister for Water The Hon Peter Walsh MP said the bill reductions would be delivered to Barwon Water customers from 1 July 2014.

Residential customers will receive total savings of $320 over the next four years. This will be delivered annually as:

  • $50 reduction from 1 July 2014
  • $80 reduction from 1 July 2015
  • $90 reduction from 1 July 2016
  • $100 reduction from 1 July 2017.

As part of the Fairer Water Bills initiative, the Victorian Government asked water corporations to provide productivity and efficiency gains to help deliver lower household water bills.

Barwon Water identified capital and operational cost savings without compromising service standards or existing hardship protections. This includes innovative technology for operations and maintenance, better scheduling construction of water feeder mains, more effectively targeting expenditure on communication activities and deferring capital expenditure on new infrastructure due to improved water efficiency.

Barwon Water is working closely with the Government on identifying further savings for customers.

  Media release: Lower household water bills for Barwon customers

  What the Fairer Water Bills initiative means for you


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Newtown water supply upgrade nearing completion

Barwon Water contractors have laid and connected all the pipework along Queens Park Road as part of a small but crucial upgrade to the Newtown / Highton water supply system.

The highly visible project involves replacing almost a kilometre of the 70-year-old water main, including crossing the Barwon River at Queens Park Bridge.

Contractors laying a section of the new Newtown feeder main.

The original main, laid in the 1940s, had reached the end of its service life. The new pipe will improve reliability and provide better service to customers.

We will be doing some operational testing for pressure and quality next week, and asphalting the road within the fortnight. The project is on track for completion by the end of June 2014.


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Queens Park Bridge temporary closure

The Queens Park Bridge will be closed to all traffic from 7 am to 6 pm, Sunday 18 May 2014.

The bridge closure is required for construction work on the attached Newtown feeder main, part of an upgrade to the water supply for Newtown and Highton.

We suggest alternative routes via Barrabool or Mount Pleasant Roads between Scenic Road and Aphrasia Street.

Since early April, contractors have been replacing a 990-metre section of pipeline along Queens Park Road, between the golf course and St Joseph’s College. The project is roughly 75% complete, and is on track for completion by the end of June, 2014.

  More information on the Newtown water supply upgrade project


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Important changes to SmartForms

Today we made some changes to the SmartForms on this website.

 

What are SmartForms?

SmartForms are interactive PDF forms that can be completed and submitted online.

We use SmartForms for direct debit applications, updating customer details, registering concessions, applications to connect and more.

Frequent SmartForm users include property developers, plumbers and real estate agents, as well as members of the general public.

 

What’s changed?

You can save forms to your computer. You can save a blank, completed, or partially-completed form to your computer as a PDF file.

You can use a partially-completed form as a template. If you regularly use the same form with many of the same details (such as your name and contact details) you can save the partially-completed form to your computer and use it as a template for future applications.

You can no longer use a Business Victoria account. If you previously logged in with a Business Victoria account, this is no longer available. There is no need to log in to complete a SmartForm.

The form links have changed. The updated forms have new links (URLs). You may need to update your bookmarks.

 

What stays the same?

The look, feel and functionality of the SmartForms is largely unchanged.

You should not experience any change in the high level of service you receive from Barwon Water as a result of the change.

 

What do I need to do?

Most users do not need to do anything.

If you have bookmarked frequently-used SmartForms in your internet browser, you will need to update your bookmarks.

If you previously used a Business Victoria account and login, this will no longer be available.

  

What should I do if I need help?

In the first instance, refer to the new, online SmartForm user guide .

If you need help completing or accessing any of the forms on our website, please contact us.

 

What are the minimum software requirements for using SmartForms?

All major, modern operating systems and browsers are supported.

Users must use Adobe Reader to complete the form. Other PDF readers and plug-ins may not be compatible with SmartForms.

Download Adobe Reader for free here 

 

Operating systems

  • Windows 2000 or newer
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard or newer
  • Apple iOS 4 or newer
  • Android 4.0 or newer

Browsers

  • Internet Explorer 8 or newer
  • Firefox 26 or newer
  • Safari 5.1 or newer
  • Chrome 32 or newer

Software

  • Adobe Reader 8.1 or newer

 


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Apollo Bay's summer water restrictions a thing of the past

Stage 2 water restrictions will be removed in Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo from 1 am, Monday 5 May 2013.

The Permanent Water Saving Plan will then apply across Barwon Water's entire serviced region.

Summer restrictions have been in place for many years due to the limited capacity of the Marengo basin and the seasonal tourist influx. But staged restrictions will be a thing of the past thanks to a new 250-million litre storage, complementing the existing 125-million litre basin and tripling the town’s water-holding capacity.

The new storage has been completed ahead of expected rainfall through winter and spring.

Under the Permanent Water Saving Plan:

  • hoses must be fitted with a trigger nozzle and be leak-free
  • gardens and lawns can be watered by hand at any time
  • sprinklers and watering systems can be used between 6 am and 10 am daily.

  More information on the Permanent Water Saving Plan for residents

  More information on the Permanent Water Saving Plan for businesses

  More information on Apollo Bay’s new water storage

 


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Barwon Downs monitoring program information display

The Barwon Downs borefield is operated under a groundwater extraction licence from Southern Rural Water. The licence was granted in 2004 and is due for renewal in 2019.

We are hosting an information session to update community members on the renewal process, particularly our assessment of the current groundwater monitoring program.

The session will highlight key components of the program including new infrastructure to monitor groundwater levels, stream flows and acid-sulphate soils.

Representatives from Barwon Water, Southern Rural Water, project consultants GHD and the Barwon Downs Groundwater Community Reference Group will attend.

When:

3 — 7 pm

Tueday 6 May 2014

Where:

Barwon Downs Hall

Birregurra-Forrest Road, Barwon Downs

The borefield is an important supply for the Geelong region when surface water supplies are low, having supplied up to 70% of Geelong's drinking water demand at the peak of the drought.

  Your water supply: Geelong region


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Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven information display

The Aireys Inlet water treatment plant is approaching the end of its operational life.

The Aireys Inlet / Fairhaven water treatment plant is approaching the end of its operational life and we are considering two upgrade options:

  • replacing the 25-year-old treatment plant, or
  • connecting to the greater Geelong supply network via a pipeline from Anglesea.

Detailed design, cost estimates and environmental studies are underway.

Want to learn more? Provide feedback? Come along to our public information day and talk to the project team.

When:

9 am — 12 noon and 1 pm — 3 pm

Saturday 3 May 2014

Where:

Aireys Inlet Community Centre

6 Great Ocean Road, Aireys Inlet

 Google map

  Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven water supply upgrade


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Interested in joining the Environmental Consultative Committee?

Do you have an active interest and knowledge of environmental issues as they relate to water?

Barwon Water’s Environmental Consultative Committee (ECC) has two vacancies for volunteer community representatives.

The committee meets every two months and provides valuable feedback on environmental issues relevant to Barwon Water’s operations and activities.

The committee includes individuals and representatives from local environmental groups.

Contact us for more information. Applications close Wednesday 28 May 2014.

  Contact us

  Our consultative committees


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Heartbleed vulnerability

Barwon Water is not susceptible to the Heartbleed Open SSL security vulnerability.

Your customer information has not been compromised and no action is required by you.

 

What is Heartbleed?

Heartbleed is the nickname for a very serious vulnerability in OpenSSL, disclosed last week.

OpenSSL is a set of open-source tools used by many websites to handle secure communication online.

Heartbleed allowed hackers to read sensitive information from vulnerable servers and possibly steal things like passwords, cookies and encryption keys.

 

Was Barwon Water vulnerable to Heartbleed?

No. Our servers were not running a vulnerable version of OpenSSL. No patch was required.

 

Do I need to change my password?

No. But if you use the same passwords on multiple websites, it’s a good idea to have unique passwords.

 

What about SmartForms?

SmartForms are interactive PDF forms used on this website to collect customer data. We use SmartForms for direct debit applications, updating customer details, registration of concessions and more.

Our SmartForms are hosted externally. We have confirmed with our provider that SmartForms are not vulnerable to Heartbleed.

 

Where can I find out more?

The internet has a wealth of information on Heartbleed.

A good, easy-to-understand overview is provided on technology blog Lifehacker.

A number of online tools offer to sites’ vulnerability to Heartbleed. A good one is the Heartbleed Test, offered by Italian programmer Filippo Valsorda.


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Easter trading hours

We would like to wish our community and customers a safe and happy Easter.

Please note: our customer service centres and call centre will be closed Good Friday through Easter Monday, inclusive.

For emergencies and faults — such as a burst water main — please call our 24×7 emergency hotline on 1300 656 007.

  Contact details, opening hours and customer service centre locations

 


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