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Goulburn Valley Water projects on the way

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

Goulburn Valley Water, GVW, is planning to double the capacity of the Broadford Water Treatment Plant through a $24.35 million upgrade, which will help cater for the growth of the area’s population.

GVW has several projects in the pipeline for Broadford and Kilmore as the water authority works to accommodate for anticipated future growth.

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The projects, which range from drought security schemes to infrastructure improvements and upgrades, were outlined for funding allocations in the State Government’s 2023-24 State Capital Program and are expected to be carried out over the next 10 years.

The water treatment plant project involves constructing a new 4.5-megalitre, high-efficiency filtration system, followed by a second stage to replace the plant’s existing 4.5-megalitre treatment system with a second new filtration system.

GVW managing director Steve Capewell said the company was planning upgrades to meet anticipated future growth and help support regional prosperity.

“There is significant growth happening in the Kilmore and Broadford region, which has been faster than our future planning originally estimated,” he said.

“Coupled with a changing climate and the impacts this has on our water availability and quality, we’re looking at ways we can prepare for the future.”

To cater for Kilmore’s growth and improve water security, a new pump station and booster pump will be constructed to enable up to six megalitres of water per day to be transferred to the Sunday Creek Reservoir from Broadford.

The plan follows a similar temporary arrangement that was in place in 2019 during drought conditions, when the Sunday Creek Reservoir dropped to 10 per cent capacity.

“Over the next decade, we’re planning for a number of projects which will see us invest in increasing capacity at our treatment plants or looking at alternative water source options,” Dr Capewell said.

Wastewater

The volume of consequential wastewater is also expected to increase, requiring GVW to invest in projects to cater for the growth.

New residential developments in the south-east area of Kilmore will be serviced by a new $4.38 million major connection sewer main planned for completion by late 2025.

Broadford Wastewater Management Facility will receive a $2.19 million upgrade by the end of 2033, which includes the construction of an additional 70-megalitre storage lagoon.

The lagoon will help meet an expected 32 per cent increase in inflow volumes while also catering for expected wet years.

“In a future impacted by climate change, we know we need to be more sustainable and we’re working on projects that will help us create a circular economy in the water use space, where we can reuse fully treated wastewater as an alternative water source to increase sustainability of our supplies,” Dr Capewell said.

“This will all help to ensure we can continue providing high quality services that customers expect and help avoid the need for water restrictions in future dry years.”

An additional 25 hectares of land in Broadford will be transformed to farming enterprises for $1.66 million by the end of 2033, which will increase the volume of treated wastewater that can be reused for irrigation.

Alternate water source

A new $3.453 million project to increase the availability and use of alternate water sources in Kilmore will also begin in the next 12 months.

The Kilmore Recycled Water Scheme is set to allow up to 160 megalitres of Class B recycled water to be used to irrigate key recreational facilities, with stage one supplying up to 113 megalitres of treated recycled water to Kilmore Racing Club and other nearby sporting facilities.

Future stages could also mean recycled water is made available for other recreational reserves, schools, industrial areas and more.

The project is an integrated water management partnership between GVW, Kilmore Racing Club and the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action.

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