Water is now flowing through a state-of-the-art system to manage rising groundwater in Bendigo.
The $27 million project was funded by the Victorian Government to prevent adverse environmental impacts from groundwater seeping into Bendigo’s waterways.
It included refurbishment of a treatment plant at New Moon, north of Eaglehawk, building two pipelines from New Moon to Coliban Water’s Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant in Epsom, and creating a new brine storage lagoon at the plant.
Groundwater is naturally occurring within Bendigo’s network of disused and abandoned mines, and has been recovering to natural levels since mining ceased in 2011.
Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, said, “This community-led solution not only gives assurances for the future but importantly safeguards our ever-popular Central Deborah Gold Mine as well as our local waterways from rising groundwater.”
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has worked with the community and partner agencies like Coliban Water to carefully manage the groundwater so that it does not pose an immediate risk to the environment or community.
The system sees groundwater pumped from mine voids beneath Bendigo to the New Moon Groundwater Treatment Plant, where it is treated to remove arsenic, salt, heavy metals and hydrogen sulphide.
The system will operate for the next four years when a permanent solution will be put in place.
The completion of construction marks the start of the commissioning period where plant operations will be carefully monitored and fine-tuned to ensure the strict treatment standards are met. The plant is on track to be fully operational late September 2017.
Lendlease designed and constructed the groundwater treatment plant, Veolia Water Network constructed the pipelines, and Ward Bros. from Rochester constructed the brine storage lagoon.