Coliban Water has moved to the next stage of upgrades to the raw water pre-treatment process at the Bendigo Water Treatment plant.

The planned upgrades will improve the plant’s ability to cope with changes in the quality of the raw water supply and includes the construction of a two kilometre sewer pipeline to be constructed by contractor Interflow.

Manager Infrastructure, Corey Bourne, said the construction of the sewer pipeline was part of a pre-treatment process that was needed to enable the plant to continue to supply high quality drinking water to customers.

“We installed a pre-treatment dosing system in 2012 and carried out a process upgrade in 2014 to overcome issues in raw water quality.

“The quality of the raw water entering our plant has changed since the plant was built in 2002. The plant can source supply from our catchment storages near Kyneton through the Coliban Main Channel and also from our capacity share in Lake Eppalock.

“With the construction of the Goldfields Superpipe in 2007 we have the ability to source water from the Waranga Channel and this water needs to undergo the pre-treatment process to control odour and taste, remove manganese, iron and color from the water.

“This pre-treatment process creates more wastewater and the sewer pipeline upgrade is needed to cope with the increased discharge from the plant and avoid impacts to the overall treatment process.

“We‘ve also had to increase the frequency of the membrane cleaning due to the fluctuations in the quality of the raw water. This has also increased the amount of wastewater discharged from the plant,” Mr Bourne said.

Works on the sewer pipeline begun in December 2017 and will be completed by April 2018.

“The pipeline construction will involve a combination of trenchless and open trenching methods. Trenchless techniques reduce the need for excavation and prevent damage to trees and their roots,” Mr Bourne said.

“Less excavation also means less disruption to traffic, although there will be some minor traffic management on Tuckermans Lane in Big Hill.”

The raw water treatment upgrade is part of the AQUA Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) contract between Coliban Water and Bendigo Water Services (BWS), which is part of Veolia.

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