Barwon Water and National Trust develop recycled water project

Barwon Water Project Manager Gurvinder Kaur, who led the project, Barwon Park Farmer Ewan Peel, National Trust Interim CEO Philip Martin and Barwon Water General Manager Seamus Butcher pictured with the new irrigator

Barwon Water and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) are preserving the past by stepping into the future, with recycled water infrastructure installed and commissioned to irrigate farmland surrounding Barwon Park Mansion.

Barwon Water General Manager Planning, Delivery and Environment Seamus Butcher said an underground recycled water pipeline has been installed to connect the Winchelsea Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) to Barwon Park.

“The new, 1.8-kilometre pipeline now supplies Barwon Park with recycled water to irrigate farmland,” Butcher said. “This project will help Barwon Water achieve our Strategy 2030 aim to reuse 100 per cent of the recycled water produced at our water reclamation plants.”

Construction began in mid-August 2023 and has just been completed.

In addition to the permanent pipeline from the Winchelsea WRP to Barwon Park, Barwon Water supplied and installed a new pivot irrigator at the Barwon Park site.

A new pump station at the Winchelsea WRP was also constructed to supply the water to the irrigator, while the power at Barwon Park was upgraded to run it.

“Partnering with the National Trust has delivered a win-win for both our organisations through the beneficial allocation of 80 million litres of recycled water for agricultural use at the Barwon Park property,” Butcher said.

National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Interim CEO Philip Martins welcomed this initiative to assist the National Trust in preserving heritage sites sustainably.

“At the National Trust, our vision for preserving the past also gives us an understanding of what we need to do to improve the future,” Martins said. “The National Trust is a strong advocate for conservation and sustainability in our built and natural environments. This recycled water project is a creative and innovative planning and design solution to save water at the Barwon Park Mansion while keeping our grounds green year-round.”

Barwon Park farmer Ewan Peel said the 48 acres of land surrounding the Barwon Park Mansion was primarily dedicated to growing crop fodder and that the installation of the irrigation system meant the site could become even more productive and attractive to visitors.

“The proceeds from the sale of these crops will contribute to maintaining the mansion and grounds.”

Butcher said Barwon Water’s significant investment in this project demonstrated the organisation’s commitment to reusing recycled water productively to preserve precious drinking water supplies and protect the environment.

“We’re very appreciative of the National Trust’s vision and cooperation in enabling this project to happen.”

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