Coliban Water is currently managing a project which will divert the rising groundwater
associated with Bendigo’s historic mines away from the city. Utilising trenchless technology,
Veolia has built a pipeline which forms an integral part of the interim solution to this problem.
The Bendigo Groundwater Project interim solution involves the construction of a 5.4km pipeline,
connecting a new groundwater treatment plant to a new brine storage lagoon at Coliban Water’s
Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant in Epsom.
The pipeline, treatment plant and storage lagoon will deliver a four-year solution to manage the
rising groundwater in the Central Deborah Gold Mine and mine voids beneath Bendigo, which
have plagued the local community for a number of years now.
The Victorian State Government, which provided $29.77 million in funding to manage rising
groundwater in mine voids beneath Bendigo, was looking for a solution which would quickly
ease the issues associated with the rising groundwater.
Veolia Market Development Manager Network Services Ziad Bushnaq, who took the lead during
the tendering process on the project, said as soon as he was across the issue – and its urgency
– he immediately started designing a plan based on trenchless methods.
“During the tendering stage, we thought the best solution was to construct the pipeline using a
trenchless technique, because it would mean it wouldn’t require a council planning permit,” said
Veolia Project Manager Kane Walsh, whose responsibilities have included client liaison and
developing the construction program, became involved in the project once Veolia had been
awarded the contract.
“HDD results in less environmental impact, less disturbance to the whole community, and there
are less resources required. So far construction has been smooth sailing. The council have
been on-board the whole way – they were included and a part of the whole planning process –
and Coliban Water and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
(DELWP) have been very much aware of the process and what it has involved.”
Coliban Water General Manager Water Quality Performance & Regulation David Sheehan said
Veolia’s solution stood out because it limited disruptions to the community, protected the fragile
environment, and allowed construction to start immediately.
Veolia has now completed the pipeline, and the company is keen to work with stakeholders on
putting in place a long-term solution to the groundwater issue.
“Once we have completed the project safely and with the quality that it requires, we would
definitely be interested in contributing to permanent solution to Bendigo’s groundwater issue,”
said Mr Bushnaq.
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