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Latest news blog


Colac community reference group applications closing soon

Applications to join Barwon Water's new community reference group for Colac close this Friday 12 October 2012

We are looking for 8–10 representatives from broad range of community sectors such as business, industry, landowners, environmental groups, social welfare groups and farmers to join up to 4 Barwon Water members in a advisory board.

Colac community reference group members should:

  • have an active interest in community and/or local environmental issues
  • live in the Colac Otway region
  • have strong community networks
  • possess a broad understanding of local water supply issues.

Colac Community Reference Group: terms of reference and expresssion of interest

PDF 93 KB

We anticipate that the community reference group will convene monthly until June 2013. We may need to meet more often, or extend the timings.


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Changes to delivery of plumbing consent numbers

Plumbers will now receive consent numbers electronically through a new service offered by Barwon Water.

This service will deliver consent numbers to plumbers instantly once applications have been processed.

Previously, consent numbers were provided through a phone call or mailed in the post.

Now, once an application has been processed, we will send consent numbers by text message. Plumbers can also choose to receive consent numbers via email.

These text messages and emails will provide plumbers with an instant record of the consent number once their application has been processed.

Consent numbers and relevant documentation will still be posted once detailed design work has been completed.

  Property connections


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No price rises for 5 years

Barwon Water is proposing no increases to water and sewerage prices over the next 5 years, excluding inflation.

The Water Plan, submitted to the Essential Services Commission today, recommends a 5-year price hold from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018. The price hold would be exclusive of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The Essential Services Commission is the independent regulator for the water industry.

The recommendation is in marked contrast to the previous 5-year Water Plan period where ‘double digit' price rises funded a record capital investment program to secure greter Geelong's water supply.

Barwon Water's Board of Directors is committed to minimising prices, while meeting the demands of population growth and maintaining high quality water and sewerage services.

  Water Plan 2013–2018

 

The draft 2013 Water Plan was released for public comment in May, 2012, and proposed a 1% annual price rise. However, cost savings and efficiencies identified since have allowed prices rises to be limited to CPI only.

The previous 5-year planning period saw record capital investment on infrastructure projects and initiatives necessary to guarantee the Geelong region's water supply for several decades. Approximately $772 million was invested under the 2008 Water Plan.

Under the 2013–2018 Water Plan, projected expenditure is halved to $360 million. Projects to be delivered include upgrading Colac's water supply and the region's largest sewage treatment facility: the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant.

  Media release: Barwon Water to hold down prices


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Interested in joining the Colac community reference group?

We looking for community members to join a new reference group and help us to select a new supply option for Colac and district.

Barwon Water needs to expand Colac's water supply system by 2017. Six new upgrade options are currently proposed to meet the challenges of population growth, climate variability and potential risks to current infrastructure.

We are looking for 8–10 representatives from broad range of community sectors such as business, industry, landowners, environmental groups, social welfare groups and farmers to join up to 4 Barwon Water members in a advisory board.

Colac community reference group members should:

  • have an active interest in community and/or local environmental issues
  • live in the Colac Otway region
  • have strong community networks
  • possess a broad understanding of local water supply issues.

Colac Community Reference Group: terms of reference and expresssion of interest

PDF 93 KB

We anticipate that the community reference group will convene monthly until June 2013. We may need to meet more often, or extend the timings.

Expressions of interest are welcome until 2 pm Friday 12 October 2012.


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Barham River water supply catchment

Barwon Water is seeking to place a permanent environmental significance overlay on the Barham River declared water supply catchment near Apollo Bay.

An interim overlay has applied since 2005 and will expire next year. We have proposed an amendment to Colac Otway Shire's planning scheme which would make the overlay permanent.

The proposed amendment makes sure the declared water supply catchment is easily identified within the planning scheme and ensures water quality protection is taken into account when land use or development applications are considered by the Colac Otway Shire.

The amendment does not introduce any new regulations that would restrict future development. Proposals within the catchment already require a planning permit under the Colac Otway Planning Scheme and must comply with Victorian Government policies.

 

Have your say

The proposed amendment is now on public exhibition.

Feedback is welcome until Monday 12 November 2012.

Colac Otway Planning Scheme Amendment C62 and associated documents 

PDF 608 KB

 Hard copies of the proposed amendment and associated documents are also available at:

  • Colac Otway Shire Service Centre, 69 Nelson Street, Apollo Bay
  • Barwon Water, 61-67 Ryrie Street, Geelong
  • Barwon Water, 33 Bromfield Street, Colac.

Feedback received will be considered by Barwon Water in developing a final submission to the Victorian Planning Minister.

If approved, the amendment will be formally gazetted and incorporated into the Colac Otway Planning Scheme.

 

More information

We are holding an information kiosk to give landowners an opportunity to find out more about the amendment.

When:

9.00 am — 1.00 pm

Saturday 13 October 2012

Where:

Apollo Bay Community Market

Apollo Bay foreshore


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Black Rock Recycled Water Plant construction update 2

The Black Rock Recycled Water Plant will provide high quality recycled water for residential, industrial, agricultural and community uses.

The plant, currently under construction, is located in the Black Rock environmental precint in Connewarre. The precinct is also home to the the existing water reclamation facility, biosolids drying plant and recycled water demonstration farm.

In this video, project manager Adam Cunningham provides an overview of the construction progress to date. Adam walks through various parts of the plant, including the state-of-the-art ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection facilities.

 

The facility is around 70% complete. Civil works are nearing completion and the electrical and mechanical fit-out phase has begun.

The construction site has recently logged 50,000 hours with no lost-time injuries.

  Black Rock Recycled Water Plant

  This video and more on our YouTube channel


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Have your say on the future of Colac's water supply

Six options are under consideration for securing the Colac and district water supply system and we would like your feedback.

Barwon Water is investigating options to secure the water supply of Colac and surrounding towns. We need to upgrade Colac's water supply system within the next 5 years based on population growth, climate variability and potential risks to current supply infrastructure.

The 6 options proposed are:

  1. new basins near Colac
  2. enlarge West Gellibrand Reservoir
  3. water from West Barwon Reservoir
  4. water from the Wurdee Boluc channel via Murroon
  5. water via the Wurdee Boluc channel via Birregurra
  6. water from the Barwon Downs borefield.

We are seeking customer, community and stakeholder feedback and would like to shortlist the options by early 2013, with a preferred option chosen by June 2013.

With more than $27 million allocated to securing Colac's water supply, this project is Barwon Water's single biggest infrastructure investment for the next 5 years.

To learn more and have you say, visit the links below.

  Project page: Colac water supply upgrades

  Factsheets: Colac water supply options

  Survey: Colac water supply options


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Northern Water Plant commissioning underway

Commissioning (operational testing) at the Northern Water Plant — Geelong's newest water recycling facility — is progressing well.

 

The Northern Water Plant will treat wastewater from the adjacent Shell Refinery and domestic sewage from Geelong's northern suburbs, producing high quality Class A recycled water.

The first phase of commissioning began in August and involves introducing wastewater into the plant, creating suitable conditions for the biological breakdown of sewage and producing Class C recycled water. The microscopic biology in the system requires some time to grow and adjust to the conditions. The plant has performed extremely well to date.

The second commissioning phase involves advance membrane filtration technologies — ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis — and is due to start in October. The advanced membrane plant will produce the Class A water from the biologically treated water.

The Northern Water Plant has been more than 9 years in the planning. Construction has seen more than 800 workers log over 200,000 hours on site, with no time lost to injury — an incredible achievement in the construction industry.

It is the first facility of its kind in Australia to treat such a high proportion of industrial wastewater and produce high quality Class A recycled water.


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Colac residents: meet our Board

Barwon Water's Board of Directors cordially invite you to afternoon tea.

When:

2.30 pm — 3.30 pm

Thursday 20 September 2012

Where:

Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre (COPACC)

Rae Street, Colac

The Directors will welcome your feedback on any Barwon Water-related issues, from service delivery and water supply to current projects and future plans for Colac and district.

This is an opportunity to put your views to the people who set the water corporation's strategic direction, policy and goals.

We look forward to your company.


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Help for Colac farmers

Farmers in the Colac district now have access to a dedicated water conservation specialist from Barwon Water.

Tom Macdonald has more than 30 years experience working with farmers and small businesses, and is eager to help local farmers to cut their water use and save money.

Image shows Irrewarra farmer Bruce Bilney with water conservation officer Tom Macdonald. A large water tank is clearly visible set against a farm paddock.

Barwon Water's Tom Macdonald (left) provides water conservation advice to Irrewarra farmer Bruce Bilney.

Since starting in February 2012, Tom has met with more than 60 farmers in the Colac water supply area. He works one-on-one with farmers, discussing their individual needs and options. To date, Tom has advised on rainwater harvesting, better use of dam and bore water, on-site water recycling, new metering technology to identify leaks and more.

Are you are farmer or farm manager in the Colac region? Do you want to reduce your water usage and costs? Contact us to arrange a free, on-site appointment.

  Contact us


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