After mining stopped in 2011, groundwater in Bendigo's historical mines is returning to natural levels. The groundwater contains elevated levels of salinity, arsenic, other heavy metals and hydrogen sulphide gas (rotten egg gas).
In July 2016, The Victorian Government committed $27.4 million to fund a Transitional Solution (PDF 197KB). This included:
- refurbishment of the New Moon Water Treatment Plant, north of Eaglehawk
- construction of a new brine storage lagoon at the plant
- construction of 2 new pipelines from the New Moon plant to the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant in Epsom. See Pipeline alignment (PDF 344KB) for details.
In partnership with the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action (DEECA), a short-term (transitional) solution was completed in August 2017.
Long term solution
DEECA continues to work with community and government advisory groups to develop long term options. Several concepts were raised following a public call for ideas and these are being explored in further detail.