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Temporary raw water pipeline for Mount Beauty

27 October 2023

North East Water is activating its temporary raw water pipeline in Mount Beauty following another landslip that has permanently damaged the existing pipeline.

The temporary pipeline will ensure a secure supply of water to Mount Beauty until a new raw water pipeline can be completed in mid-late 2025.

The most recent landslip, which has caused the existing pipeline to leak, makes staff and contractor attempts at repairs unsafe.

Managing director Jo Murdoch said despite the landslip, the community could be confident about an assured water supply with the temporary pipeline in place until a new permanent offtake can be built.

“The community will recall we successfully implemented and tested the temporary pipeline in Embankment Drive in December 2022 as a contingency in the event of failure due to a landslip or bushfire,” Ms Murdoch said.

“While a landslip on the access track occurred earlier this year it did not impact the pipeline. Unfortunately, significant rainfall in Mount Beauty a few weeks ago has now caused the landslip to worsen. The existing pipeline has been compromised and we cannot safely access the area to fix it.

“But we have planned well for the temporary pipeline to ensure a reliable water supply for residents, business and industry, particularly during periods of high summer demand.”

The temporary system will involve a pump and suction hose set-up at the end of the tailrace.

A pipeline, mainly above-ground, will also be laid from the tailrace to Embankment Drive and over to the Kiewa Valley Highway, then connect to North East Water’s existing raw water pipeline that supplies the water treatment plant.

Signage will be in place to provide the community with information.

The temporary pipeline will be removed for winter.

New raw water offtake – planning progressing

Ms Murdoch said North East Water is progressing with planning for the new raw water offtake following extensive community consultation.

The new offtake will replace the current ageing infrastructure, which is in an area at risk of bushfires and landslides.

“With Embankment Drive (Site 2) endorsed by North East Water’s board as the preferred location for the new water infrastructure, the next phase of the project has been to look at alternatives to having a weir, which could offer more flexibility for the exact siting of the pump station,” Ms Murdoch said.

“The community reference group is reconvening in November to provide feedback on potential weir alternatives, as well as opportunities to enhance the aesthetics and amenity of the water infrastructure.

“We expect to start construction of the new offtake in 2024 subject to approvals, with completion by mid-late 2025.

“Until then, North East Water will use its other pump station on the West Kiewa River and the temporary pipeline as needed to supply water to the Mount Beauty/Tawonga Water Treatment Plant."