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In mid-September, Coliban Water completed works to install two huge 900mm valves on a water main in Golden Square, Bendigo. The valves are the biggest of their kind in the region and are part of the groundwork taking place to cater to the future population growth and providing greater flexibility to operate the pipeline.

Coliban Water’s Executive General Manager Service Delivery, Danny McLean, said the major project on Aspinall Street, which runs between Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square, will play a significant role in allowing for future growth to the west of Bendigo.

“The water main currently services more than 25,000 residents in Bendigo, including the Bendigo Hospital and St John of God Hospital, so it’s a major piece of infrastructure we’re working on to enable further growth,” Mr McLean said.

The water main runs from the Bendigo Water Treatment Plant at Kangaroo Flat to the Specimen Hill Reservoir in Golden Square. It then supplies numerous areas of Bendigo including Maiden Gully and Marong.

The installation of the new valves provide Coliban Water’s partner Veolia with greater flexibility to operate the pipeline under the terms of the AQUA BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) contract.

A major part of the project was to install a new connection point or ‘T’, which is the beginning of a new trunk water main from Golden Square to Maiden Gully.

Procuring and installing the valves

Veolia led the planning process and consulted with Coliban Water and Lendlease for the design of the new works. Installation logistics was also a key consideration so that the utility could maintain services to customers and minimise risks.

Veolia was also involved in the procurement process for the works; and Bendigo-based contractor S & R Engineering and Construction was selected to carry out the works.

In order to undertake the works, the pipeline was shut down for a number of days and alternative arrangements were put in place to ensure an uninterrupted delivery of drinking water and that customers were not affected.

“We were pleased that installation went according to plan and there were no unplanned issues of any significance,” Mr McLean said. “One minor challenge which the team worked to overcome was working with limited space for deep excavation.

This involved having a geotechnical engineer inspect the site and ensure the excavation was safe. “The location of works on Aspinall St also meant that it was a busy local road and urban bus route. This was dealt with by Traffic Management approved by the City of Greater Bendigo.”

Supporting the region’s growth

The installation of the valves form part of the groundwork for the new trunk water main. Construction on the new main is expected to start in mid- 2022, and take around eight months to build.

“This is a major step in progressing pressure improvement projects to the west of Bendigo, including suburbs like Marong and Maiden Gully,” Mr McLean said.

“There is huge growth in this part of the region, and it’s crucial we’re putting in the infrastructure now to support these communities into the future.” As well as the valves and new main, Coliban Water is also looking at other projects that will provide the infrastructure
needed to support the region in the future.

Another project currently underway to support growth in this area is the Marong Tank Project, with a new three megalitre tank and booster pump station to be installed.

“Most of the concrete walls of the tank are already completed on the project, which is designed to improve efficiency and create a more robust network in Marong,” Mr McLean said.

The tank project was expected to be completed before the summer of 2021 to ensure customers in the region have access to a strong, secure supply in the warmer weather.

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