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Barwon Water has announced that plans to upgrade the sewer pipeline between the Barwon River and the Barwon Heads pump station are progressing.

Barwon Water Managing Director, Shaun Cumming, said the works were needed to prevent sewer spills in the future, protect the environment and maintain reliable sewerage services.

“This pipeline is a very important piece of sewerage infrastructure, in that it takes sewage from Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Point Lonsdale and Queenscliffe to the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant in Breamlea,” Mr Cumming said.

“Community members might recall that in late 2021 it failed unexpectedly, leading to an emergency response and complex repair works to ensure reliable service continued.

“Since the failure, Barwon Water has undertaken detailed investigations into the failure, designed a replacement and allocated significant funding for its upgrade to prevent a similar incident in the future.”

Mr Cumming said work on the pipeline was planned to begin in February 2024 after the peak summer holiday period.

“The construction works are complex and will require an above-ground temporary sewer pipeline to be installed before the main works begin,” Mr Cumming said.

The temporary pipeline will ensure continued high quality sewer services while works to upgrade the existing pipeline are undertaken.

Works on the sewer main replacement will need to be carried out in two separate locations. The first stage of works will be from the Barwon River to the Barwon Heads Road and Sheepwash Road intersection, and the second stage will be from the Barwon Heads Road and Sheepwash Road intersection to the Barwon Heads Sewer Pump Station (which is located at 1939 Barwon Heads Road).

The temporary pipeline is likely to be laid adjacent to Village Park and Geelong Road and on the Barwon Heads-Geelong Road reserve.

Some parts of the temporary pipe may be placed on the road itself (resulting in partial lane closures) or within the road reserve.

To support vehicle access to various locations (including Village Park), the temporary pipe will be laid under existing access points/driveways.

The position of the temporary pipe is still being finalised and will be shared over the coming weeks.

Construction activities are expected to go for approximately nine months, depending on the weather, and are scheduled to conclude in late 2024.

“We appreciate these works are going to have an impact on local residents and businesses, the Village Park and visitors to Barwon Heads,” Mr Cumming said.

“We will be out and about in the local community over the coming months, sharing information about the project in local newsletters and with local community groups. We’re keen to hear from the community to ensure our construction activities have as little impact as possible.

“We will do all we can to minimise impacts and keep the local community informed throughout the project.

“We thank the local Barwon Heads community for their support during our project investigations and development.”

Costing $9.5 million, the sewer upgrade represents a significant investment to ensure ongoing, high-quality sewerage services.

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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