Revised scope of works to inform Boundary Creek and Big Swamp Remediation Plan submitted to Southern Rural Water

3 months ago

Following ongoing engagement with independent experts and a community remediation working group, Barwon Water this week submitted to Southern Rural Water a revised scope of works for its Boundary Creek and Big Swamp remediation plan.

Preparing a scope of works is a critical step in the process required under the conditions of a Section 78 Ministerial Notice that was issued to Barwon Water in 2018, directing it to develop and implement a remediation plan for or Boundary Creek, Big Swamp and surrounding environments.

In accordance with that notice, Barwon Water submitted its scope of works to Southern Rural Water on December 20, 2018.

This document outlined the area that will be covered by the remediation plan, the environmental values to be included and the necessary environmental assessments and methodology proposed to develop the remediation plan.

Barwon Water subsequently sought additional feedback from Southern Rural Water and its Technical Review Panel, as well as the Boundary Creek and Big Swamp Remediation community working group and its independent experts on the scope of works document.

In addition, a comprehensive field program of scientific and environmental assessments to address information gaps was completed during March to June, these assessments included:

  • soil sampling (more than 200kg of soil was collected for analysis)
  • updated LIDAR imagery to more accurately map vegetation
  • installation of monitoring equipment in Big Swamp

Barwon Water’s Chief Scientist Dr. Will Buchanan said interim results of the soil sampling confirmed previous understanding of the soil characterisation of Big Swamp.

“These results provide Barwon Water with a better understanding of the various soil types within the swamp to help inform remediation options for the Swamp,” Dr Buchanan said.

Using this feedback and new scientific data, Barwon Water refined and strengthened its scope of works and circulated to the remediation working group for review and feedback.

“In mid-July, Barwon Water met with the remediation working group and their nominated experts to discuss the revised scope of works document and share interim results of the field program,” Dr Buchanan said.

“Overall, the remediation working group were positive of the document and the work that had been completed to address Southern Rural Water’s review panel and working group experts feedback,” he said.

“The working group requested Barwon Water make final changes to the scope of works, mostly in relation to adding detail to the methodology section,” he said.

Barwon Water submitted the revised scope of works to Southern Rural Water to review on 30 July 2019.

“We will continue to provide monthly updates to the remediation working group and will meet with the working group and their nominated experts in late September,” said Dr Buchanan.

The community remediation working group is made up of representatives from the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA), Colac Otway Shire Council, LAWROC, PALM (People for a Living Moorabool), Upper Barwon Landcare Group, Boundary Creek landowners, Traditional Owners and other interested community members.

A series of public information sessions is being planned to provide an update on the project and next steps to all members of the community. Dates and locations will be advertised shortly.

Read: Scope of Works