The Kilmore Wastewater Management Facility Upgrade and Environmental Offsets Project is an innovative partnership between Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) and Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA) and the first of its kind in Victoria.
Current Status - 15 August 2019
GVW is undertaking works at the Kilmore Wastewater Management Facility (WMF) to meet future requirements. To facilitate this work, treated water from the WMF was released into Kilmore Creek, via Un-named Creek from 17 July to 9 August 2019.
GVW has Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval to release the treated wastewater under strict conditions. Water quality continues to be monitored and GVW is reporting to the EPA as required.
The water being released was fully treated and met EPA Class C standards.
For more information on the project read below or contact Helen Murdoch (p) 0419 006 124 (e) firstname.lastname@example.org
Wastewater Management in Kilmore
GVW provides water and wastewater services to Kilmore. The rapidly growing town is within the Melbourne growth corridor and the population is expected to more than double over the next 20 years. The present Wastewater Management Facility (WMF) consists of a series of lagoons that biologically treat wastewater, after which the recycled water is reused as irrigation water for crop or pasture production on a neighbouring property. Given the forecast rapid rise in population, the Kilmore WMF requires augmentation to cater for the expected growth.
GVW has been planning the upgrade to the Kilmore WMF for some time. The traditional engineering solution to increase capacity of a WMF of this type is to construct an expensive new treatment plant and significantly expand the irrigation area. This would come at a high cost and require over 200ha of additional irrigation land. GVW does not consider this traditional solution to be the most cost-effective or beneficial solution for Kilmore.
Environmental Offsets Concept
As an alternative to traditional upgrades, GVW is undertaking an innovative environmental offsets solution that upgrades the treated wastewater at Kilmore to a standard where the water can be returned to stream as an environmental flow. The low energy wastewater treatment improvements include an extra aeration stage to the existing lagoon–based treatment, nutrient removal, vertical flow wetlands and UV disinfection to improve the recycled water quality.
An off-site program of catchment improvement works, or environmental offsets, is also underway. This includes improvements to certain sections of the riparian zone along Kilmore and Kurkurac Creeks.
The objective of these on-site and off-site works is to improve the overall health of the catchment whilst meeting the needs of a growing town. The solution will also deliver better environmental outcomes for the Kilmore and Kurkurac Creeks.
The estimated cost to deliver these improved environmental outcomes is around $15M.
Implementation of Environmental Offsets
GVW has formed a partnership with the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA) and they have been managing landholder and community group interaction for the first section of the environmental offset works.
A Works Approval was granted to GVW by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in early 2017.
GVW has consulted with key stakeholders to ensure the best outcomes from the project and to offer the community opportunities to partner in determining and carrying out the environmental offset works. These conversations are ongoing.
The upgrading of the on-site treatment works at the Kilmore WMF commenced in January 2019 and are due for completion in early 2020.
A first for Victoria
This innovative solution to upgrade the Kilmore WMF will represent a significant reduction in costs to the community compared with a traditional engineering solution.
The environmental offsets project is a first of its kind for Victoria and has the potential to achieve cost effective treatment, with improved environmental and recreational outcomes.
Water quality in Kilmore and Kurkurac Creeks will be monitored continuously and reported to the EPA on a regular basis.