The Victorian government has announced $1.5m in funding to address the problem of rising groundwater in Bendigo.
The funding will be used to move into a feasibility phase to investigate pumping groundwater from the North New Moon mine shaft to Coliban Water’s Epsom water treatment plant.
The Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville joined Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards to announce the new round of funding.
Using Coliban Water’s Epsom plant would address the groundwater issue over the next three to five years while a permanent solution is developed.
Ms Neville also announced that in the immediate term, while the Coliban Solution feasibility phase is underway, rising groundwater will be pumped to storage in the New Chum mine workings by Bendigo Trust.
No water will be pumped to the Woodvale ponds as part of the New Chum arrangement and Central Deborah tourist gold mine can remain open.
During the feasibility stage, the Government will also be talking to GBM Gold – who are seeking to purchase the Unity Mine site which includes the Woodvale ponds.
The immediate Deborah Mines costs for pumping will be covered in the short term and the feasibility work that Coliban Water is carrying out will look at this in the long term.
Shallow and rising groundwater has historically been an issue in Bendigo causing odours along Bendigo Creek, impacting on water quality and resulting in discharges at the surface. The groundwater needs to be treated and by-products such as salts, arsenics and metals managed to mitigate these impacts.
Until June this year there were arrangements in place for groundwater to be pumped to the Woodvale Ponds from Unity Mine.