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Beechworth Sewer Improvement

Beechworth Sewer Improvement

North East Water is currently investigating options to change parts of Beechworth’s sewer system to help resolve sewer capacity issues during heavy rain events. This includes the sewer pipe that runs directly through the Beechworth Historic Park.

Beechworth’s unique granite base limits the soil absorption of rainfall, and during heavy rain events this results in major stormwater flows into the sewer. These heavy flows then cause the sewer system to spill over at an outlet structure on Church Street, resulting in an unacceptable impact on the Beechworth Historic Park.

The Corporation has made significant effort in the last decade to address this issue through re-lining the town’s sewer pipe network, however due to this unique granite base, the relining project has been less effective than anticipated.

Increasing the capacity of the pipe that transfers the sewage to the treatment plant will both protect the environment and allow for future growth of the town.

North East Water is engaging with a number of stakeholders including the community, Parks Victoria, Indigo Shire Council, Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

 

Following discussions with stakeholders, three community meetings and several technical investigations, North East Water has refined the possible options down to three. All three involve a new, larger pipeline being built that transfers the sewage to the treatment plant on McFeeters Road.

The Options are listed below. The shaded areas on each map indicate the route the pipe will take, but not the exact alignment. This is yet to be determined following further technical investigations.

Option 1: A new pipeline built along Old Chiltern Road and the fringe of the Beechworth Historic Park, using a new pump station to pump to the treatment plant.

Click here to view Option 1

Possible Impacts:

  • Construction noise
  • Temporary traffic interruptions
  • Vegetation removal
  • Disturbance to native fauna
  • Impact to visual amenity during construction

Likely Outcomes

  • A long term solution for the community's sewerage system
  • No further sewer discharges into the Historic Park
  • An additional pump station at NEW's site on Church Street
  • Extensive pipe work located underground

Option 2: A new gravity-fed pipeline (no pump station) built along existing tracks within the Beechworth Historic Park.

Click here to view Option 2

Possible Impacts

  • Reduced access to some areas of the park during construction
  • Machinery access will require around 6 metre wide clearance
  • Extensive vegetation removal
  • Construction noise
  • Disturbance to native fauna

Likely Outcomes

  • A long term solution for the community's sewerage system
  • No further sewer discharges into the Historic Park
  • Possibility of pipework above ground and below ground
  • Ongoing vegetation clearance zone

Option 3: A new gravity-fed pipeline (no pump station) built partially in the park, and partially out of the park along Malakoff Road.

Click here to view Option 3

Possible Impacts

  • Reduced access to some areas of the park during construction
  • Machinery access will require around 6 metre wide clearance
  • Vegetation removal
  • Disturbance to native fauna
  • Construction noise
  • Temporary traffic interruptions

Likely Outcomes

  • A long term solution for the community's sewerage system
  • No further sewer discharges into the Historic Park
  • Above and below ground pipe
  • Ongoing vegetation clearance zone

OUTCOMES FROM COMMUNITY MEETING 20 APRIL 2017

Seventeen people attended the community meeting held at the Beechworth Servicemen's Memorial Hall on Thursday 20 April 2017. North East Water staff also met with members of the Indigo Environment Advisory Committee just prior to this meeting to provide an overview of the project.

At the community meeting, North East Water revisited the project and the options for the benefit of newcomers in the room. Staff then presented the criteria and weightings for the multi-criteria assessment for discussion. Those in attendance provided feedback on the criteria.

Following this, the establishment of a stakeholder reference group was discussed. Feedback from the community was that a specific reference group would not be required, and it was broadly agreed that keeping an open forum would be more valuable, with a key group that commits to attend meetings and share information.

The notes from this community meeting, and the previous two meetings held on 21 November 2016 and 4 April 2017 can be found under the tab 'Keeping You Informed'.

NEXT STEPS

Several technical investigations are currently underway. These include geotechnical testing at the wastewater treatment plant, flora and fauna studies, geophysical surveys and LIDAR surveying (aerial surveys). The results of these investigations will inform the multi-criteria assessment.

North East Water is also following up on several actions from the community meeting on 20 April.

Once these investigations are complete, North East Water will undertake a multi-criteria assessment of the options presented to the community in April. The assessment will include social, economic, technical and environmental criteria and will be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team. The criteria and their respective weightings were determined by North East Water and are below:

  • Value for Money (over 100 years) - 40%
  • OHS - 25%
  • Environmental impact - 20%
  • Visual amenity - 15%

An option will be determined from the multi-criteria assessment and a business case developed around this option. The business case will be presented to Board for endorsement. Once the Board has endorsed (approved) the business case, approvals will be sought and the detailed design for the recommended option will commence.

Community Meetings will be held at regular intervals to keep the community informed of the project and to ensure the community's issues and concerns are consistently understood and considered.

Feedback from the community at the meeting held on 20 April was that a specific reference group was not required, and the community preferred to continue with the current format of 'open' community meetings. Members of the Indigo Environment Advisory Committee have committed to attending each meeting and sharing information with the Beechworth community.

Community Meetings will be held at regular intervals to keep the community informed of the project and to ensure the community's issues and concerns are consistently understood and considered.


Community Meetings - Notes and Presentations

Community Meeting 21 November 2016

Presentation - 21 November 2017

Community Workshop 4 April 2017

Community Presentation - 4 April 2017

Outcomes from Workshop

Community Meeting 20 April 2017

Notes from meeting - 20 April 2017

(no presentation at this meeting)


Media Releases

23 March 2017: Sewer pipe changes at Beechworth Historic Park

15 November 2016: Beechworth community meeting to discuss potential changes to sewer system

Images of the existing sewerage pipe along the Gorge in the Beechworth Historic Park.



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