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Anglesea borefield

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The Anglesea borefield is a valuable water source capable of supplying up to 20 million litres of groundwater daily in times of need.

The borefield can supply around 20% of Geelong's annual demand, roughly the equvalent to the water used in 35,000 homes.

The Anglesea borefield complements a diversified system which combines surface water, groundwater, recycling and conservation.


How it works

The Anglesea borefield is used only when surface water supplies are low.

The borefield consists of 7 production bores across 2 sites that tap into the Lower Eastern View Formation — a vast underground aquifer around 700 metres below the surface, stretching from the Otway foothills to the Southern Ocean.

Raw groundwater is high in dissolved minerals such as iron and manganese, and is hot due to the pressure and depth underground. A pre-treatment plant cools the groundwater, and removes dissolved minerals.

The pre-treated groundwater is then piped 20 kilometres to the Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, south of Winchelsea, where it is mixed with rainwater from the Otway Ranges.

The water is filtered, chlorinated and fluoridated, before being piped to smaller storage basins and tanks, and then delivered to homes and business in the greater Geelong region.


Supply limits

The Anglesea borefield can supply an average of 7,000 million litres per year, with a maximum extraction of 10,000 million litres in any given year.

This is consistent with the bulk entitlement granted to Barwon Water by the Victorian Government in 2009.

To date we have extracted:

  • 2009/2010: 1,650 million litres
  • 2010/2011: 1,948 million litres
  • 2011/2012: 4,019 million litres
  • 2012/2013: 0 litres
  • 2013/2014: 0 litres.


Monitoring and sustainability

The aquifer is monitored daily at 37 observation bores, 8 surface water sites, 8 terrestrial sites and 11 aquatic sites.

The surrounding fauna, flora and environment are continually monitored to ensure the project has minimal environmental impact.

Trigger levels are in place on groundwater and surface water levels in the upper catchments of the Anglesea River and Salt Creek, inclusive of Breakfast Creek and the river's tributaries. If a trigger is reached, Barwon Water must restore levels within 30 days.

Barwon Water reports to the Victorian Government in accordance with the requirement of the the bulk entitlement.


Stakeholder and community engagement

We undertook extensive stakeholder and community engagement throughout the construction, commissioning and operation of the project. We continue to work with our Environmental Consultative Committee (ECC), government and business stakeholders on the monitoring program.

Stakeholders consulted include:

  • Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI)
  • Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria
  • Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
  • Southern Rural Water
  • Surf Coast Shire Council
  • Parks Victoria
  • Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR)
  • Alcoa Australia