A local construction company has been awarded the contract to build a new 11km pipeline to help secure water supply in Colac, in Victoria’s south-west.

Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville announced R Slater and Sons as the successful tenderer for the pipeline portion of the Colac water supply upgrade project.

The Colac water supply upgrade project involves constructing a new off-take from the Wurdee Boluc channel near the existing Barwon Downs borefield pipeline, a new 50 million litre storage basin and pump station at the Gerangamete treatment plant and an 11km pipeline from there to the existing Colac supply pipeline.

The $19.3 million upgrade will cater for future growth while reducing the threat of reduced catchment inflows in dry years.

“This is a hugely significant project for the Colac community – creating jobs in the construction industry, improving water security and ensuring Barwon Water can cater for future growth,” Ms Neville said.

“The need for water restrictions in Colac earlier this year highlighted the vulnerability of the current water supply system – which is entirely dependent on rainfall.

“Connection to the Geelong system means Colac has a back-up supply source – linking it the Victorian water grid.”

Further contracts are still to be awarded for the construction of a 50 million litre storage basin, pump station and diversion regulator.

In 2015, Barwon Water announced it had accelerated plans to upgrade Colac’s water supply by two years, following an updated water security assessment.

Colac will be connected to the Geelong system by mid-2017 – effectively doubling its supply capacity and boosting water security for the region.

The upgrade will also offer protection against the risk of bushfires, land-slips and failure of the existing 28km supply pipeline from the West Gellibrand and Olangolah reservoirs.

Barwon Water Managing Director Joe Adamski said, “This project is another example of Barwon Water’s significant investment in water security.

“Our diverse supply system means we are well placed to meet future demand.”

While the supplementary supply will be sourced from the Wurdee Boluc channel, water also could be accessed from the borefield under extreme dry conditions as a further security measure.

Construction is expected to begin in September 2016.

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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