28 March 2022

Shepparton residents are being asked to help conserve water on Sunday, as Goulburn Valley Water practices their incident response to plan for future potential emergencies.

The trial will test running the water treatment plant from an alternate raw water pump system, in response to any emergency – fire, flood, debris damage, different river levels etc – or major failure affecting the existing pump in the Goulburn River.

It will allow GVW teams to prepare and plan different responses according to different incident situations.

The trial will run from 8am to about 4pm on Sunday 3 April, with people asked to conserve water during this time to help take pressure off the water treatment plant operations while the trial is running.

People can still use water for essential needs, like drinking, cooking and washing, but are asked to limit their outdoor and non-essential water use on Sunday while the main pump is offline.

The walking track at the rear of the water treatment plant will be closed between Princess Park Clinic and the tennis courts with heavy equipment operating in the area, with people asked to detour along Welsford St and Tom Collins Drv.

It has been planned to run at a time where water use is the lowest in cooler weather, and will have the least impact possible on Shepparton’s industrial customers.

The Shepparton Water Treatment Plant supplies a large population – in Shepparton, Kialla, Mooroopna, Congupna, Toolamba and Tallygaroopna – as well as a large industrial and commercial customer base.

GVW Managing Director Steve Capewell said this trial was critical to help plan for responses to future impacts of climate change, like an increased risk of floods and fires.

“This is a really important part of our continuity and emergency planning, to ensure we’re prepared and can continue to deliver essential water services in an emergency situation,” Dr Capewell said.

“Two years ago we asked residents to reduce their water use similarly, while the Shepparton Water Treatment Plant was offline overnight to carry out critical repair works.

“We saw a fantastic response, with water usage dropping by about two million litres compared to average daily use, and we’re asking the community to again help us by decreasing their water use

Customers will be kept informed via text message alerts and social media as the trial response progresses.