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11 November 2021

Coliban Water has kicked off the second phase of the Urban Water Strategy, now presenting the results of its initial customer engagement.

Executive General Manager Climate and Population Adaptation Steve Healy said the Urban Water Strategy is a long-term planning tool to inform our actions that secure our water future over the next 50 years.

“We’ve collected data from our customers and stakeholders that has been crucial for our planning. Now we want to present our ideas and gather feedback to guide our projects forward.

“The UWS considers the impacts of population growth, including increased demand for water, climate change (reduced water availability) and other risks over 50 years on our ability to supply water to our customers and treat wastewater for reuse.

“We know that our population is growing and our region is getting hotter. Our planning needs to address these significant challenges to make sure our regions are a great place to live, grow and enjoy. 

“To secure our water future, we must understand what trade-offs our communities are willing to make so we can sustainably deliver water and wastewater services to them. We forecast that we will not have enough water to meet long-term future demand without changing our current strategy.

“Using our online engagement website Connect Coliban, customers now have the opportunity to learn about our plans and projects and have their say on what’s to come,” Mr Healy said.

The recommendations from the Urban Water Strategy will help to inform the business case that the organisation puts forward as part of its Pricing Submission 2023 (PS23).

“We prepare a Pricing Submission every 5 years that needs to be approved by the Essential Services Commission. We must demonstrate that our prices and investment are prudent, meet our business requirements and are fair in terms of the impact on our customers and the community.

“Community engagement is also underway for PS23, so there’s a great opportunity here for our customers to really shape the future of water and wastewater services across our region,” he said.

Engagement for both projects is open at



These system specific quotes can be attributed to Steve Healy, Executive General Manager Climate and Population. 

Messaging for Coliban South system (Kyneton, Malmsbury, Tylden, Castlemaine):

  • We will implement the Castlemaine Water Relcamation Plant (WRP) sludge treatment project in the short term to improve recycled water quality and reduce odour emissions.
  • We will implement progressive upgrades of the Castlemaine and Kyneton Water Treatment Plants (WTP) to maintain capacity over the short to medium term.
  • We will further investigate other options to address a demand/supply imbalance over the short to medium term such as Kyneton groundwater and supply of water to Castlemaine from Lake Eppalock and the Waranga Western Channel via the Goldfields Superpipe.

“The works we have planned for both the water and sewer plants in this region will allow us to accommodate growth in the area, have increased access to recycled water and address the long-term water security for the region.” 

Messaging for Coliban North system (Bendigo, Raywood, Sebastian, Axedale, Heathcote, Tooborac, Marong):

  • We will implement the Bendigo WRP sludge treatment project in the short term to increase capacity of the WRP, reduce odour emissions, reduce risk of wet weather releases to Bendigo Creek and to enable consistent production of Class A recycled water.
  • We will fit digital data loggers to customer meters to assist in determining leaks in customers’ homes, saving on water and reducing costs to customers.
  • We will investigate options to address future water demand/supply imbalance such as further investigations into managed aquifer recharge and securing additional entitlement from the water market.

“Our aim for the Bendigo region is to have Water Reclamation Plants capable of servicing a growing population and addressing long-term water security for Bendigo.” 

Messaging for Murray system (Cohuna, Leitchville, Gunbower, Echuca):

  • We will complete the upgrade of the Echuca WTP in 2022.
  • We will continue to invest in the water market to purchase additional water resource.

“It’s crucial we’re planning to increase pressure and security of supply for customers over summer. 

“Ensuring water security for the Murray system will be a major priority moving forward.” 

Messaging for Goulburn system (Macorna, Boort, Pyramid Hill, Mysia, Jarklin, Serpentine, Dingee, Rochester, Lockington, Mitiamo)

  • We will review the capability of Goulburn system water treatment plants in the short term to handle blue green algae blooms similar to that experienced in 2018.
  • We will install tanks at the Mitiamo basin to store water obtained directly from the Mitiamo pipeline.

“Our priority for the Goulburn system is being able to provide consistent access to high quality water.” 

“New tanks at the Mitiamo basin will help to guard against BGA impacts on supply.” 

Messaging for Loddon Murray system (Wychitella, Borung, Korong Vale, Wedderburn, Inglewood, Bridgewater, Tarnagulla, Bealiba, Dunolly, Laanecoorie):

  • We will construct a raw water storage at Laanecoorie and connect to the South West Loddon Pipeline in the short term.

“Investment in this region will be prioritised to ensure access to a high-quality water source for Laanecoorie. Securing two sources of supply will help us protect against BGA outbreaks.” 

Messaging for Campaspe system (Goornong):

  • We will upgrade Goornong WTP in the short to medium term.

“We will upgrade the Goornong Water Treatment Plant to replace aging infrastructure and increase treated water quality to customers in the region.” 

Messaging for Trentham system (Trentham):

  • We will continue to explore opportunities for additional groundwater in Trentham in the short term.
  • We will install additional treated water storage at Trentham WTP in the short term.
  • We will upgrade Trentham WTP to meet additional capacity requirements in the medium term. This may include connecting Trentham to the Coliban South system to provide additional water to supplement the current resource.

“In this rapidly growing region, investments in the Trentham system will allow us to accommodate growth as well as ensuring long-term water security for the town.” 

Last updated on 11 Nov 2021
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