The central Victorian town of Heathcote is beginning to reap the benefits from a $5 million scheme to improve the town’s wastewater services.
The first stage of the $4.8 million upgrade to the Heathcote Water Treatment Plant (WTP) is now complete and the second stage of works has kicked off.
Manager Infrastructure, Corey Bourne, said works completed at the WTP included the installation of a permanent UV water treatment system and a chlorine contact tank.
“These two upgrades are now operational and will see an improvement to water disinfection, which provides an additional process to remove microorganisms that are present in the raw water supply. UV treatment of water is a common disinfection method used by a number of water corporations,” Mr Bourne said.
“The overall works at the plant continue to progress as planned and are on track for completion in December 2019. Our contractor has been busy with site clearing and levelling works at the plant in recent months, which have paved the way for the second phase.”
The second phase of works includes the installation of a permanent Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) dosing system, which provides a means of managing taste and odour issues in the raw water supply.
“Until now, we have been using a temporary PAC treatment system at the site on an ongoing basis to manage the taste and odour compounds in the raw water. To have this now made permanent will provide greater ongoing management for fluctuations in raw water quality,” Mr Bourne said.
“We’re also installing a new wastewater handling system, which will reuse as much of the wastewater at the plant as possible and help to address inefficiencies.
“It means we can prevent excess wastewater being released to sewer network, and in turn, reduce the volume sent to our Heathcote Water Reclamation Plant.”
Minor on-site excavation work may continue in coming weeks as contractors create trenches for pipes and lay the foundations for the new PAC dosing system equipment.
In addition to the completed works at the WTP, the first 16 homes in the Heathcote area are now able to connect to Coliban Water’s expanded sewer network
Mr Bourne said that while sections of the project were still under construction, some properties can now connect.
“Construction works in the Bennett Street area and part of the Redleaf Close area have been completed. Works in the other parts of the Redleaf Close area and the Argyle area are progressing well and are expected to be completed before the end of the year,” Mr Bourne said.
“There are a number of properties being built on a section that had been completed, and rather than wait until the whole project was finished, we have allowed them to connect early. The remaining property owners will receive notification to connect in the New Year.”
Coliban Water is installing around 10km of sewer main to ensure more of the Heathcote community receives safe wastewater services.
“The City of Greater Bendigo identified areas of Heathcote at risk of public health and environmental impacts from septic tanks,” Mr Bourne said.
“Our project ensures wastewater is safely contained and transported to our Heathcote Water Reclamation Plant where it is treated to a standard where it can be reused for irrigation purposes.
“Around 150 properties are expected to connect with further connections happening as vacant lots are developed.”
The project included the building of a sewer pump station in Craven Crescent, which is nearing completion, and a section of sewer main that needed to be installed under McIvor Creek.