Quarterly remediation update submitted to Southern Rural Water

02 Jul 2020

Barwon Water continues to progress the implementation of the remediation and environmental protection plan (REPP) for Boundary Creek and Big Swamp, with the plan’s first quarterly update submitted to Southern Rural Water.

The update, along with the results of two other reports – the Big Swamp Acid Sulfate Soil Study and the latest Barwon River Macroinvertebrate sampling report - are available to read on Barwon Water’s dedicated project website.

Barwon Water is remediating the confirmed impacts from historic management of groundwater pumping of the Barwon Downs Borefield, which was relied upon heavily during the millennium drought.

Managing director Tracey Slatter said the first quarterly update was an important milestone in the remediation plan, showing the progress beginning to be made in the detailed design phase of the REPP.

Ms Slatter said that the findings of the Big Swamp Acid Sulfate Soil Study confirm that maintaining the swamp in a saturated state will support the remediation.

Impacts from historic management of groundwater pumping of the Barwon Downs Borefield included the reduction of flows in Boundary Creek and the subsequent activation of acid sulfate soils in Big Swamp, resulting in acidic water discharging to Boundary Creek downstream of the swamp.

The quarterly update also provides information on the surrounding area investigation plan and the ongoing commitment to work with the community on the implementation of the REPP, with the details of ongoing community involvement to be worked through.

A dedicated community and stakeholder remediation working group and its nominated independent technical experts provided valuable advice into the development of the proposed remediation plan over an 18-month period.

Members of the group – which met 10 times and included representatives from LAWROC, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA), Colac Otway Shire Council, Environment Victoria, Upper Barwon Landcare Group, Boundary Creek landowners and other interested community members – continue to be updated on the progress of implementation of the plan.

Key requirements of the section 78 notice and the REPP is the provision of quarterly updates to Southern Rural Water to report on progress with implementation of the plan, as well as an Annual Report.

The Annual Report is required to be submitted to SRW and made publicly available by 30 September each year.

In addition to the information contained in the quarterly updates, the Annual Report will provide more detail from technical investigations, monitoring data, and measure how the REPP is tracking against its success targets.

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