Barwon Water’s plan to remediate waterways accepted

March 12, 2020 BY

Big Swamp as seen from the air.

SOUTHERN Rural Water (SRW) has officially accepted the Boundary Creek, Big Swamp and surrounding environment Remediation and Environmental Protection Plan submitted by Barwon Water.

In September 2018, the Minister for Water directed SRW to issue a notice requiring Barwon Water to submit and implement a remediation and environment protection plan for Boundary Creek, Big Swamp and the surrounding environment impacted by historical groundwater pumping at Barwon Downs.

Barwon Water submitted its proposed plan for review in December last year.

SRW has provided Barwon Water with feedback which has since been incorporated into the plan, and which Barwon Water will begin to implement from March 1.

The feedback was guided by an independent technical review panel and by input from the Barwon Downs Community Leaders Group, established by SRW in 2019.

SRW general manager of customer service Craig Parker thanked both groups for their expertise, knowledge and insights, which assisted in the review of the plan and how it will be implemented.

“We acknowledge the significant time and effort by everyone involved in the process, particularly the community members who have continued to advocate to ensure all perspectives are included in the plan,” he said.

“We look forward to their ongoing involvement as the plan is implemented.”

“This represents the first step on the long journey towards remediation of these waterways and surrounds. We are committed to ensuring that Barwon Water are accountable for the implementation of the plan.”

Barwon Water managing director Tracey Slatter said that the action in the plan to keep Big Swamp wet via provision of supplementary flows to Boundary Creek was already under way.

“By keeping the swamp wet, the plan aims to stabilise the acidification process that takes place due to the drying and wetting of the acid sulfate soils within the swamp, and reduce the risk of acid flush events in Boundary Creek in the long-term.

“In addition to maintaining the supplementary water releases, the first step in the adaptive plan includes continued collection of data to refine the design of the preferred remediation option, which is to install hydraulic barriers to slow and spread the flow of surface water through Big Swamp.”

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