Remediation plan annual report 2020-21

Barwon Water continues to progress the implementation of its Boundary Creek, Big Swamp and Surrounding Environment Remediation and Environmental Protection Plan, with the plan’s 2020/21 annual report submitted to Southern Rural Water.

Highlights from the report include:

  • A continuing recovery trend of groundwater levels in the Lower Tertiary Aquifer, with groundwater levels through Big Swamp tending to be higher during the 2020-21 monitoring period compared to the 2019-20 period, particularly during the summer
  • An increase in the pH of the surface water discharging from Big Swamp during the 2020-21 monitoring period compared to the 2019-20 period
  • An overview of works completed in 2020/21 for both the remediation of Big Swamp & Boundary Creek, and the Surrounding Environment Investigation
  • Refined surface and groundwater modelling for Big Swamp based on the full seasonal data set for groundwater levels and surface water flows within the swamp and Boundary Creek collected in 2020/21
  • An overview of community and stakeholder engagement
  • Potential to investigate method for treating water within Big Swamp to reduce acidity levels.

Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter said the annual report showed good progress was being made in the long-term plan to remediate the confirmed environmental impacts from historical management of groundwater pumping of the Barwon Downs Borefield, and investigate if surrounding areas within the regional groundwater system were also adversely impacted.

“The remediation plan’s implementation is progressing and yielding some early positive results in our adaptive approach.

“The plan is based on a wide range of technical assessments and investigations, experts from various specialist fields and input from our remediation working group and their nominated technical experts”

Ms Slatter thanked the members of the community and stakeholder working group that provided valuable advice into the development of the remediation plan over 18-months and who continue to provide oversight and feedback on implementation of the plan.

“We remain committed to keeping the local community and key stakeholders informed regarding the progress of remediation and to sharing the findings and outcomes of the plan.

“We thank remediation reference group members for their ongoing contribution to the remediation process and look forward to continuing to work with them over the coming months and years as we implement the plan, share data and adapt the plan based on observed outcomes.”

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