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Coliban Water has completed a $5 million Heathcote sewer scheme project, ensuring more of the Heathcote community has access to a safer and environmentally friendly way to manage domestic wastewater.

Property owners can now connect to the expanded sewer network, with further connections planned as vacant lots are developed.

Manager Infrastructure, Corey Bourne, said, “By expanding our sewer network we ensure wastewater is safely contained and transported to our Heathcote Water Reclamation Plant, where it is treated and reused for irrigation.

“As well as creating a healthier and safer environment, the project also allows for future development and population growth for Heathcote.”

Healthy people and environment, and prosperous economies are two of the four strategic directions in Coliban’s Strategy 2030 plan to achieve its vision of Water to Live, Grow and Enjoy.

The Heathcote sewer scheme project is part of a Backlog Sewer Program to provide reticulated sewerage services in urban areas where septic tanks were still in use.

“Local councils identified residential areas where properties had been built before sewerage services were available. The program included extensions of our network around Markovitch Lane, Junortoun, completed in 2014, and Reckleben Street, Castlemaine, completed in 2016,” Mr Bourne said.

“There has been a lot of development around Reckleben Street in the four years since we completed the expansion, which wouldn’t have been possible before the works.”

Work began on the Heathcote sewer scheme project in September 2018, with the construction of 10km of sewer main and a sewer pump station.

“A lot of planning, investigations, design, assessments, approval and community consultation goes into a project like this,” Mr Bourne said.

Around 30 per cent of the mains were installed using boring or directional drilling, a trenchless method that reduces the need for excavation and prevents damage to trees and root systems.

“Cultural Heritage Management Plans were conducted to assess the potential impact on Aboriginal cultural heritage and work out how to protect artefacts,” Mr Bourne said.

“We worked with the Taungurung Land & Waters Council, the traditional owners in the area, to carry out field investigations and dig test pits along the proposed pipeline alignments.

“Ecological assessments were also conducted to identify and protect flora, particularly native vegetation, and fauna.

“With the construction work now complete we will be writing to property owners within the next two weeks outlining the process for them to connect to the network.

“A licensed plumber can arrange the connection and the Department of Health and Human Services offers grants to assist eligible households with the cost of connecting.”

The contractor for the Heathcote sewer scheme project was Steve Standen Drainage.

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