Helping schools to find and fix costly water leaks

Laura Kendall, General Manager Customers, Community and Strategy at Barwon Water with Jake Dowsett, Mirripoa Primary School Acting Assistant Principal, along with school captains Milla and James.

Barwon Water’s commitment to helping customers find and repair water leaks is a key part of the popular Schools’ Water Efficiency Program (SWEP), in which 86 schools are currently participating in the Barwon region.

Program participant Mirrapoa Primary School has saved drinking water and money on its water bills after joining the program, which is free for schools to join.

After the installation of data loggers as part of the program, the school has tracked their water use via an online monitoring dashboard, helping to identify a leaking irrigation system.

Barwon Water was able to further assist the school by providing a $3,000 grant to help cover plumbing costs and assist with the extra water costs sustained while the system was leaking.

Barwon Water General Manager of Customers, Community and Strategy Laura Kendall said she was pleased the program could help another school save water and money on their bills, noting that the program had saved the 86 participating schools a combined total of $3.4 million on their bills since 2012.

“Water leaks result in high water losses and higher water bills. Early detection is vital to saving drinking water and money.”

Mirripoa Primary School business manager Ingrid Polwarth said that joining the SWEP had been beneficial in lots of ways.

“The irrigation system was leaking and was costing the school money through large water bills. There was so much expense involved when the irrigation system needed fixing, we were so grateful to Barwon Water for the grant to help us pay for it.

“It is great to be part of the SWEP program, we can detect leaks quickly and it also provides the students the opportunity to learn about water efficiency and how important it is.”

SWEP program finding and fixing water leaks

Since starting in 2012, the Victorian government’s SWEP program has saved over a billion litres of water in Barwon Water’s service region.

Ms Kendall encouraged other schools to sign up to receive the benefits of the water-saving program.

“Thanks to funding assistance from Barwon Water and the Victorian Government, it’s free for schools to sign up.”

SWEP includes curriculum resources and is a great way to combine maths, science and environmental studies for students using real-world examples.

Barwon Water also has a dedicated schools education program to support schools and the broader community to use water sustainably.

To enrol your school into the Schools Water Efficiency Program, please visit

More information about the SWEP grants program is at

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