Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) has launched a new standpipe ro deliver treated, recycled water in Euroa, to drought-proof the region’s water supply and limit dependence on the drinking water supply.

It’s the first piece of ‘purple’ infrastructure in GVW’s service region – the purple designation meaning the standpipe is treated, recycled water. 

The concept was developed in response to low raw water storage levels in 2019-20, which triggered the introduction of Stage 2 water restrictions in Euroa and Violet Town, following warmer and drier conditions and higher water demand.  

The standpipe is also part of the wider $3.5m Greening Euroa project – a collaboration between Strathbogie Shire Council, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, GVW and local community members and schools. 

The design stage of the Greening Euroa project is being supported by the Victorian Government.

Greening Euroa is designed to improve drought resilience and enhance liveability by keeping community spaces green in a sustainable way. 

As part of the project, GVW carried out improvements at the Euroa Wastewater Management Facility to upgrade the treatment level from Class C to Class B – meaning the treated water can now be used for irrigation on sports fields, golf courses, crop irrigation, industrial washdown facilities and more.  

The first recycled water was tankered from the standpipe in early January, with Strathbogie Shire Council and other contractors, including those working on the railway bridge replacement works, using the water for construction and road works. In the first two weeks of operation, more than 1.4ML of water has already been delivered by the standpipe.

GVW Managing Director, Steve Capewell, said using recycled water in this way is part of its strategy to embrace ‘circular economy’ principles and would help Euroa avoid water restrictions in the future while keeping key community spaces green. 

“This is such an important project to contribute to and improve the liveability of the region, while also implementing smart, sustainable innovations in water resource management, which are both key priorities for Goulburn Valley Water,” Dr Capewell said.  

“The Euroa catchment is highly dependent on rainfall, and we’re seeing raw water availability change due to the impacts of climate change.  

“Finding new ways to use recycled wastewater, particularly in partnership with local communities like the Greening Euroa Project, will also help with long-term management of sustainable water sources and improve water security for the region.” 

Strathbogie Shire Mayor, Cr Chris Raeburn, said in a region rich in beautiful landscapes, but vulnerable to the elements and drought, the Greening Euroa project would increase the community’s drought-resilience. 

“It will ensure the ongoing use of our recreation and sporting grounds, even during prolonged dry spells,” Cr Raeburn said. 

“These spaces provide our community with a chance to participate in team sports and individual exercise activities, which goes a long well to improving wellbeing. 

“We’re always looking at ways to improve water security. For example, we are one of the only councils in Victoria that uses recycled water for our road works.” 

GVW Operations Manager, Steve Nash, said the project’s upgrades had also created an improved recycled water supply, in line with standards across GVW’s water reuse program. 

“We’ve been working with the community to identify opportunities for wider use of the Class B recycled water, which will help reduce dependency on critical drinking water supplies,” Mr Nash said. 

“We’ve worked with the Euroa Golf Club to help upgrade their infrastructure to suit Class B water, and we hope to see it used more widely in the future as a more sustainable alternative.” 

GVW partnered with local suppliers and contractors where possible, including Shepparton’s Aquatec. 

The Greening Euroa Committee continues to look for future opportunities to implement additional drought resilience and water sustainability projects. 

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