Construction has commenced for a $6 million project to secure the future water supply of two regional Victorian towns.
Gippsland Water has begun works on a distribution water main to connect Coongulla and Glenmaggie to Heyfield’s water system, with the pipeline to be in use by late 2022.
Gippsland Water Managing Director, Sarah Cumming, explained that water for Coongulla and Glenmaggie residents is currently sourced from Lake Glenmaggie and treated at the Coongulla water treatment plant.
“While it’s almost full at the moment, Lake Glenmaggie has reached such low levels that we’ve needed to truck water into Coongulla from Heyfield on five occasions in the past 15 years,” Ms Cumming said.
This most recently happened in 2019, when Gippsland Water trucked water in for four months, with up to 18 deliveries made a day at a cost of up to $8,000 per day.
“There are other issues we’ve had to consider, like the risk of blue-green algae outbreaks at the lake, and the fire risk posed by the Coongulla water treatment plant’s location, which backs on to bushland,” Ms Cumming said.
“That’s why as the Coongulla plant aged, we undertook an extensive review to decide whether to upgrade the plant or invest in other options for supplying the towns, such as permanently trucking water in from Heyfield.”
The Heyfield community’s water is treated at the Heyfield water treatment plant and sourced from the Thomson River, which Ms Cumming said had proven to be a more reliable water supply.
“This solution is the most cost-effective and most environmentally-friendly way to deliver a reliable supply of high quality water to our Coongulla and Glenmaggie customers,” she said.
The pipeline will be constructed within road reserves and easements from the Heyfield water treatment plant on Angle Channel Road, along Weir Road and Ryans Road connecting to the Coongulla treated water basin.
“We’ve chosen this route because it will have the smallest possible impact on the environment,” Ms Cumming said.
Traffic management will be in place to keep road users, workers and the public safe during construction from now until late 2022.
This project is one of Gippsland Water’s top ten projects from their 2018 price submission to the Essential Services Commission. For more information about this project and other major projects, visit www.gippswater.com.au/major-projects.