Media Release


18 December 2018

More than $20 million in capital projects has been delivered by Coliban Water in the 2017/18 financial year, with a number of other significant projects underway.

Manager Infrastructure Corey Bourne said key projects completed include renewal works for the Coliban Main Channel, upgrades of Bridgewater and Trentham Water Treatment Plants, and replacement of a one-kilometre section of sewer rising main on High St, Echuca.

“Our crews and contractors have been hard at work to finish these projects, which ultimately benefit our customers and communities. The Coliban Main Channel project was one of the big ticket items, which saw 2.7 kilometres of channel renewed at a cost of $4.6 million (over four years).

“This project improved the security and efficiency of the channel while protecting the environmental and heritage value.

“This is part of a wider program to renew our channel network, with six other sections of the Coliban Main Channel identified for renewal in Sutton Grange and North Harcourt. We are continuing to plan for these works,” Mr Bourne said.

“At the Bridgewater Water Treatment Plant, $300,000 was invested in upgrading the main PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) to provide ongoing security of water supply and automated checks of water quality.”

The newly installed industrial computer is fast and responsive, as it controls and monitors the equipment onsite every 15 milliseconds. It provides good visibility for the operator via a touchscreen and allows plant issues to be resolved quickly if they arise.

“Meanwhile at Trentham, we’ve invested $150,000 to upgrade the filtration system at the water treatment plant which has increased the plant’s capacity by 20 per cent. The upgrade involved replacing the existing filtration modules with more efficient modules. The new modules use less water in the backwash process, so the plant’s output is increased,” Mr Bourne said.

Works were also completed as part of ongoing programs such as land management ($400,000), sewer main renewals ($1.3 million) and water main renewals ($600,000).

“Sewer main renewals are a key part of our capital works program. Many people aren’t aware of the age of our sewer network – which is almost 100 years old in some parts of Bendigo and surrounds. Therefore investment is important for the ongoing efficiency of the network and the environment.”

In regards to projects currently underway, Mr Bourne said construction is progressing steadily as part of a $4 million extension of Heathcote’s sewer network. This will see installation of around 10 kilometres of sewer main in areas around Bennett Street and Redleaf Close to the north of the town, and the Argyle area to the south.

“Reticulated sewerage is important for the environment and public health, ensuring wastewater is transported, maintained and treated appropriately. The project is expected to be complete around July 2019.”

Detailed design work has also been completed for an upgrade of the Heathcote Water Treatment Plant, with works starting on site early next year. The plant treats water from Lake Eppalock or Caledonia Reservoir to supply treated drinking water to Heathcote and Tooborac.

“The $4.7 million project will include an upgrade of disinfection equipment and a new washwater handling system to reuse more of the water that would otherwise be sent to the Heathcote Water Reclamation Plant,” he said.

Mr Bourne said the rural system modernisation is another project on the go, and one that will be staged over the next 10 years due to its size. Coliban Water’s rural supply system was first created in 1877, with a number of expansions and updates over time. It now comprises over 500 kilometres of open channel, earthen channel and pipeline.

“As part of the 2017/18 capital program we spent time talking to customers about the closure of the Poverty Gully rural channel system and the implementation of alternative water supply options for existing customers,” he said.

“As urban encroachment in Bendigo increases, we continue to consider other systems such as Axe Creek and Emu Valley, and the longer term future of these channels which may be impacted by growth. We’ll continue to consult with customers on these projects,” Mr Bourne said.

A video of Coliban Water 2018 highlights, including project highlights, is available here.





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