Localised windstorm damages GVW construction site; project end date extended to allow for recovery

6 January 2021

Following a recent localised windstorm event, a $10m project underway at Goulburn Valley Water’s Shepparton Wastewater Management Facility has been delayed by several weeks.

Works to replace a large lagoon cover that has reached the end of its useful life have been underway since July, and had been progressing on schedule up until the evening of Wednesday 11 November, when a severe windstorm event occurred and caused damage at the site.

Project Manager, Senior Engineer Mr Lachlan McGregor, said the project was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2021, a date that is now expected to be pushed out to late April.

“The storm was violent and extremely localised, with residential areas nearby almost unaffected. On initial inspection on the Thursday morning we thought we may have to start over on the project, with much of the new cover crumpled and displaced.”

“We were very cognisant of making any repairs as quickly as practicable and worked with the contractor to minimise the duration of the project extension. Fortunately, following expert analysis and assessment we were advised the material was recoverable, and have been able to repair the new cover and only small sections required replacement.”

“This has extended the project schedule by several weeks and while we apologise for the delay we have been pleased with the rapid recovery.”

GVW Managing Director Dr Steve Capewell said that over the duration of the project there have been occasions where odour has emanated from the site and impacted the more northern parts of Shepparton.

“We have been installing the new cover over the lagoon since mid-year and while we have made our best efforts to minimise any odour impacts on residents in the area, there have been times that we have been unable to do so as effectively as we’d like.”

“Customers and the community have shown continued patience and tolerance regarding odours from the site and we are genuinely grateful for that.”

Dr Capewell also said gas extraction through the flare will recommence in coming weeks, a significant milestone for the project.

“GVW will soon be able to recommence the process of capturing gas to generate renewable energy to export to the electricity grid, a process made possible by the large industry load we accept into the site.”

“We are pleased to reinitiate this process and look forward to renewable energy being once again generated into the electricity grid.”

Customers who wish to provide feedback or to alert GVW to a technical or service related issue are invited to call 1800 45 45 00.