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Latest news blog


Water security boost for Geelong

Barwon Water is calling upon backup water sources — the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline and Barwon Downs borefield — to provide security for greater Geelong in response to prolonged dry conditions.

Barwon Water will access the Victorian water grid via the 59-kilometre Melbourne to Geelong pipeline, beginning next month. We have notified Melbourne Water of our intention to access up to 6 gigalitres (6 billion litres) over the coming year. Melbourne’s supplies will be topped-up via the Wonthaggi desalination plant, due to be switched on next summer.

Barwon Water customers will not pay extra; our prices are locked-in until June 2018. In fact, water prices are going down 1.6% a year, on average, excluding inflation.

We are also readying the Barwon Downs borefield — a critical back-up source previously called upon to supplement supplies in drought conditions.

We will continue to monitor storage levels, consumption patterns and weather forecasts.

The Permanent Water Saving Plan remains in place.

 

How low are Geelong’s storages?

Geelong’s water storages are currently at 38.3% capacity – the lowest since August 2010. This time last year, they were 63.9% full.

At the height of worst drought on record, storages dropped to 14.2% (May 2007).

 

Will I pay more for this extra water?

No. Prices are locked in until June 2018 under Barwon Water’s 2013–2018 Water Plan. This includes an average annual decrease of 1.6%, excluding CPI.

 

Will the water taste different?

Some customers may notice a change to the taste of their water when sources are changed. This is normal and all water supplied is 100% safe to drink.

 

Why aren’t we on water restrictions?

Barwon Water invested heavily in water security infrastucture during and following the last drought — an investment that is now being called upon.

The Permanent Water Saving Plan — common-sense rules to save water every day — remains in place.

Staged water restrictions are now a last resort so Geelong can still maintain its liveability even as drying conditions continue.

 

Will I receive desalinated water?

No. The Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline connects Geelong's storage basins at Lovely Banks with Melbourne's water supply network at Cowies Hill, west of Werribee. Melbourne’s supply network would be topped up via the desalination plant near Wonthaggi.


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Win up to $250 off your water bill

Open your free MyPost Digital Mailbox and you could win up to $250 off your water bill.

You could win up to $250 off your water bill with MyPost Digital Mailbox.

Simply log in or sign up and connect to Barwon Water for your chance to win.

With MyPost Digital Mailbox you can receive and pay your bills in one convenient, secure online location. You can schedule payments and set reminders. You can access your digital mailbox on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

  MyPost Digital Mailbox: learn more, sign up for free

  

Competition terms

  • There are 40 prizes to be won. Each prize is valued at up to $250. The total prize pool is valued at up to $10,000.
  • The competition is open to Victorian residents 18 years and older.
  • To enter you must be a Barwon Water customer, or become a Barwon Water customer within the competition period. Existing customers: you must receive a bill from us during the competition period.
  • During the competition period, entrants must visit www.digitalmailbox.com.au and connect to Barwon Water via their digital mailbox to receive one automatic entry.
  • To be eligible to win, you must remain connected to Barwon Water and MyPost Digital Mailbox until the prizes are awarded.
  • The competition period is from 9 am (AEDT) Tuesday 1 March to 11.59 pm (AEST) Thursday 16 June 2016.
  • The promoter is Australia Post Digital Mailbox Pty Ltd (ABN 25 155 133 001) trading as ‘MyPost Digital Mailbox’, 136 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000.
  • The competition will be drawn at 3 pm (AEST) Friday 24 June 2016 at the promoter′s office. Winners will be notified in writing.
  • One entry per person. Barwon Water and Australia Post employees and their immediate family members are not eligible.
  • Full conditions of entry, including a privacy statement, are available on the Australia Post website.

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Aireys Inlet reservoir to be open to the public

Painkalac Reservoir near Aireys Inlet will be opened to the public for walking, riding, bird watching and recreational fishing.

The reservoir will be taken out of service when the townships of Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven are connected to the Geelong supply system via a pipeline from Anglesea. The changeover is expected later this year.

Barwon Water established a community and agency group to discuss possible future uses of the reservoir and recently endorsed the group’s recommendation.

The site will feature a shared-use track on either side of the reservoir for walking, horse riding and bicycle riding, plus picnic facilities and educational signage at key locations.

The reservoir will be maintained to ensure its ongoing safety and environmental flows to Painkalac Creek.

Work on the $6.6 million Aireys Inlet / Fairhaven water supply system upgrade is well underway, with the 11-kilometre pipeline and pumping station upgrade complete and work on-track for completion in mid-2016.


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Balancing water supplies changes taste in some areas

Customers in the Golden Plains region and Geelong’s northern suburbs may have noticed a change in the taste of their water.

This is due to these customers receiving water from Lal Lal reservoir, part of the Moorabool catchment, near Ballarat.

The change is normal at this time of year as we balance surface water supplies across the network. However, particularly dry conditions have meant the change is more noticeable this summer.

Customers in Bannockburn, Teesdale and Inverleigh receive water from the Moorabool system over the summer months. This water has a different taste profile to the water from the Barwon River catchments in the Otways that supply these towns for most of the year. Customers in Geelong’s northern suburbs are receiving a blend of water from the Barwon and Moorabool catchments.

Our water quality and operations teams are monitoring water quality and treatment processes and continue to make adjustments where possible to reduce the effect of the seasonal change.

All water supplied is 100% safe to drink and compliant with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. None of our catchments were affeceted by the recent bushfires.

 Media release: Water supply


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Keeping waterways healthy

The Hon Lisa Neville, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, last week launched action plans for a pair of volunteer-led ‘citizen science’ programs to monitor the health of our local waterways.

L to R: Corangamite Catchment Management CEO Gareth Smith and Chair Alice Knight, Water Minister Lisa Neville, Barwon Water Chair Jo Plummer and MD Joe Adamski.

Ms Neville joined representatives from Barwon Water and Corangamite Catchment Management Authority to launch Victoria’s Waterwatch and EstuaryWatch plans.

The plans map the direction of the programs for the next 8 years with the aim of increasing participation and providing data to inform decisions in waterway management.

  Waterwatch

  EstuaryWatch


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Holiday season trading hours

Our customer contact centre is closed over the Christmas / new year period from Thursday 24 December. We will resume normal hours from Monday 4 January 2016.

For water or sewerage related emergencies and faults (such as a burst or leaking 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.


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Colac water supply upgrade fast-tracked

We have fast-tracked a planned upgrade to Colac’s water supply following an updated water security assessment.

The Colac water supply system is expected to be connected to the greater Geelong network by July 2017, two years ahead of plan.

The upgrade will increase supply diversity and security, effectively doubling the capacity of Colac’s supply. The upgrade caters for growth and reduces the threat of reduced catchment inflows in very dry years. It also offers protection against the risk of bushfires, land slips and failure of the existing Otway ranges pipeline .

The project includes a connection with the Wurdee Boluc channel near Murroon, a new 50 million litre storage basin and pumping station at Barwon Downs, and an 11-kilometre pipeline to the existing Colac supply pipeline.

Colac will continue to receive water from the West Gellibrand and Olangolah reservoirs, with the supplementary supply drawn from the West Barwon catchment via the Wurdee Boluc channel. As a further security measure, the upgrade allows for groundwater sourced from the Barwon Downs borefield under extreme dry conditions.

Construction is set to begin in the second half of 2016 following an extensive stakeholder and community engagement program which included a community survey, information kiosks, and the formation of the Colac Community Reference Group.

  Media release: Colac water supply upgrade fast tracked


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New Anglesea outfall pipeline towed into position

Anglesea’s new recycled water outfall pipeline was successfully installed at the weekend following a major land and sea operation. The outfall had been damaged earlier this year when a section of cliff collapsed.

Anglesea’s new recycled water outfall pipeline was successfully following a major land and sea operation.

Early on Sunday morning, the 700 metre welded polyethylene pipeline was moved on rollers and across the beach at Point Roadknight, attached to a boat and towed out to sea. The pipe was moved into position and lowered 10 m underwater to align with a pre-drilled bore hole. Finally, the pipe was pulled through the bore, emerging at the Anglesea water reclamation facility on the clifftop.

Work will continue at the reclamation plant to finalise the connection. The project is scheduled for completion before the busy summer holiday period.

  More photos on our Facebook page


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Anglesea outfall repairs underway

Replacement of the Anglesea outfall pipeline has begun.

The pipe was damaged when a section of cliff collapsed in August. The repair has been fast-tracked ahead of the busy summer period.

It’s a challenging task with significant onshore and offshore work. Specialist engineering and construction teams need to consider the cliffs, beach, ocean floor and tides.

A drill rig is currently boring from the water reclamation plant through the cliff. It will continue below the cliff base and ocean floor to emerge about 500 metres offshore.

Almost 700 metres of pipe are now being welded and pressure tested on land before being towed across the water to the outfall end point.

From there, the pipe will be attached to the drill head, lowered 10 metres under water and pulled back through the bore hole to the plant.

We’re working closely with local residents throughout the project. Customers will not experience any disruption to sewerage services during the works.


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New Board announced

Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville today announced the new make-up of Victoria’s water corporation boards.

The Minister announced six new appointments to Barwon Water’s Board, including new Chair Jo Plummer.

Ms Plummer is joined by new members Elaine Carbines, John Gavens, Christopher Lovell, Jason Mifsud and Bernard Walsh.

Jodi Heath was re-appointed, and Rebecca Leonard, who was appointed in October 2013, continues her 4-year term.

  Management and Board

  Board director profiles


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