Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) provides water supply and sewerage services to the town of Kilmore. Sewage is currently treated at a lagoon-based wastewater management facility (WMF), with the recycled water irrigated to land.
Kilmore is expected to undergo significant population growth over the next 50 years, which will increase the volume of sewage requiring management.
GVW’s ability to expand the current recycled water irrigation scheme will be limited due to competition from urban growth and marginal soils and topography to support irrigation development. As an alternative, GVW propose to implement an Environmental Offsets Scheme that will see the recycled water returned to stream. RMCG was engaged to develop a workable offset program that offers the opportunity to develop a sustainable long-term solution that is affordable, and provides lasting benefits to your customers and the creeks and rivers of your region.
The Offsets Scheme has been developed following an extensive Ecological Risk Assessment, which highlighted the need to manage nutrient concentrations in the recycled water (particularly phosphorus and ammonia), and the importance of timing the recycled water releases so that they mimic natural flows and therefore maximise the potential for environmental benefit.
The offsets scheme will result in sustainable recycled water management that can accommodate Kilmore’s expected growth; improve ecological condition of the Kilmore and Kurkurac Creeks; and provide a lower cost solution than other alternatives. Potentially the greatest advantage to be achieved from the project is the boost to stream flows that will occur. The catchment works will also mean improved water quality – the re-establishment of more natural creek conditions will maximise the creeks’ ability to assimilate nutrients, oxygen demanding compounds and other contaminants.