The greater Geelong region’s water supply is the most diversified in the region, with water sourced from forested catchments and underground aquifers.
Geelong’s drinking water has traditionally been sourced from forested catchments on the upper Barwon and Moorabool rivers.
As a result of prolonged drought and increasing demand, a larger proportion of your water is now sourced from underground aquifers, deep below Barwon Downs and (more recently) Anglesea.
In the future, Geelong will have access to more water sources, via the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline.
An increasing number of business customers across the region also use recycled water from our water reclamation plants.
Much of our drinking water in Geelong comes from the West Barwon Reservoir, near the township of Forrest in the Otway Ranges National Park.
The reservoir sits at the base of a 51 square kilometre catchment on the West Barwon River.
Water is fed via a 57 kilometre channel to the Wurdee Boluc storage reservoir, south of Winchelsea. The Wurdee Boluc channel also takes water from smaller tributaries and diversions en-route.
Water is filtered, disinfected and fluoridated at the Wurdee Boluc Water Treatment Plant before being delivered to customers throughout the greater Geelong region, Bellarine peninsula and surf coast via a network of pipes, pumping stations, storage basins and tanks.
A number of reservoirs north of Geelong comprise the upper Moorabool river system. The Korweinguboora, Bostock and Stony Creek reservoirs make up the East Moorabool system, while Lal Lal reservoir, near Ballarat, is the main storage on the West Moorabool River. Lal Lal Reservoir is jointly managed by Barwon Water and Central Highlands Water, with Barwon Water allowed one third of its water.
Water from the Moorabool catchments is filtered, disinfected and fluoridated at the Moorabool Water Treatment Plant at She Oaks. The treated water is gravity-fed to storages around Geelong, as well as the townships of Meredith and Lethbridge.
An underground aquifer deep below Barwon Downs supplies the Geelong region when surface water supplies are low. The borefield has been in operation for almost 30 years.
Six bores, between 300 and 630 metres deep extract up to 55 million litres a day, depending on demand.
The groundwater is pre-treated on site to remove dissolved minerals such as iron, and then piped to the Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, where it is mixed with surface water.
Water is extracted from the Barwon Downs Borefield under a groundwater extraction licence granted by Southern Rural Water. Details of the licence are available upon request.
The Anglesea Borefield is our newest water source. It times of drought it can supply up to 20 million litres a day, or around one-fifth of demand.
The borefield comprises 7 bores across 2 sites. The bores tap into the Lower Eastern View Formation, a vast aquifer some 700 metres below the surface.
Groundwater is pre-treated to remove dissolved minerals, and then piped to the Wurdee Boluc storage where it is mixed with other water sources.