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The Victorian Government is investing in innovative new ways to improve water quality and increase habitat and biodiversity at Westernport Water’s wastewater treatment plant, including the Restorative Wetland Carbon Storage pilot project at Cowes.

The Restorative Wetland Carbon Storage pilot project studies how floating wetlands can be used to manage treated effluent and emissions produced from wastewater treatment.

It is being run by Westernport Water, with the findings to be shared with the broader water industry and community. 

The Victorian Government has invested $250,000 towards this project as part of the Integrated Water Management grant program, which co-invests in wastewater and stormwater projects that can contribute to water security, public and environmental health, and urban amenity.

Victorian Minister for Water, Harriet Shing, said, “This pilot project will support the water industry adapt to climate change and population growth, and provide multiple environmental benefits such as improved biodiversity, habitat and water quality,” Ms Shing said.

This project is one of eleven metropolitan and 17 regional projects receiving a funding boost under the first round of the $14.1 million Integrated Water Management grants program.

A new liner and cover have also been installed at the San Remo Basin, ensuring that Westernport Water can continue to provide consistent and reliable drinking water services for another 30 years.

The $2.6 million project was finished three months ahead of time and under budget without any impact to customers and will help prevent evaporation of the water supply from the San Remo water storage basin. 

The San Remo Basin can store up to 30 million litres or about five days of supply and is an important part of the water supply system, providing a safe and reliable storage for Phillip Island and surrounding areas.

Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale said the pilot is an example of many local innovations that will ensure the Bass Coast is well-positioned to meet future challenges 

“Renewal of critical assets like the San Remo Basin is essential to the ongoing supply of water services that meet, or exceed customer expectations – meaning reliability for families, businesses and the local community,” Ms Crugnale said. 

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