The Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant has been treating the wastewater from sinks, toilets and drains across Bendigo for more than 100 years.

Funded by the customers it serves, it remains a critical piece of infrastructure for our community's health, and supports our continued growth and success.

But climate change, ageing infrastructure and a growing population mean we are acting now to ensure our sewerage infrastructure can meet community needs for the next 50 years.

About the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant

About the upgrades

The current planned upgrades to the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant will be carried out in stages over five years.

The planned upgrades are underpinned by a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint as we target net zero emissions by 2030, and to deliver more recycled water and biosolids for community and environmental benefit.

Phase One

Upgrades to solids handling at the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant

Phase one works at the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant will see the upgrade of on-site facilities to better manage the final by-product of sewage treatment, biosolids.

In August 2023, our plans were approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

In January 2024, we released the design and construct tender for the solids handling upgrade, with phase one works on track to start this year.

When complete the works will deliver clear benefits:

  • Increased treatment capacity as our community grows.
  • A reduction in the incidence of odour emissions.
  • Increased recycling of nutrient-rich biosolids that can be reused as a sustainable fertiliser on crops, parks and gardens.

During phase one, we'll upgrade biosolid treatment facilities.

This will include new thickening and dewatering equipment and aerobic digesters.

Upgraded electrical equipment will be installed to support the installation of a major solar facility at a later date.

All work during phase one will be carried on-site, adjacent to the existing facility to minimise disruption to the treatment process.

For residents and businesses around the Water Reclamation Plant, phase one works will reduce the incidence of odour emissions associated with biosolids treatment.

For the broader community, the works are vital to ensure the plant can accommodate population growth in Greater Bendigo.

In August 2023, our plans were approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

We’re now working towards issuing a request for tender, with phase one works on track to commence in 2024.

Phase one works are expected to take 18 months to complete.

When phase one works at the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant begin in 2024, residents and businesses in the area around the plant, particularly near Howard Street in Epsom, may notice an increase in heavy vehicle traffic at times.

The should be no increase in odour from the plant while the works are underway. When complete, the upgraded facilities and greater capacity will reduce the incidence of odour emissions.

From 'waste' to 'great' for community benefit

One upon a time, the water washed or flushed down Australia's drains and toilets was considered 'wastewater'.

But in a changing and drying climate, improving how we reclaim and reuse the by-products of our water use is important for future water security.

At Coliban Water, we haven't just named our wastewater plants Water Reclamation Plants, we've committed to embedding sustainable practices in every part of our business.

At the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant, the production of recycled water and biosolids help us contribute to a circular economy and deliver benefits to our customers, communities and the environment.

  • Biosolids

    Biosolids are the organic by-product of the sewage treatment process.

    Rich in nutrients and similar to the look and smell of soil once dried, they can be applied to maintain productive soils, boost crop growth, and fertilise parks and gardens.

    We're looking to boost the beneficial production of biosolids to return nutrients and carbon to local soils, reducing the need for additional fertilisation.

    Biosolids are managed and reused in accordance with regulatory guidelines set out by the EPA.

  • Recycled water

    You'll see recycled water from the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant at work in Bendigo's beautiful Roaslind Park and Garden for the Future and at a range of other, parks gardens and sporting facilities.

    Our Class A recycled water is also released to the Bendigo Creek, boosting environmental flows that contribute to the health and bidiversity of this local waterway.

    Recycled water is also put to good use at neighbouring farms and supports local industry.

  • Thriving biodiversity

    The Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant includes 67 hectares of lagoons and treatment ponds which are home to a range of native flora and fauna.

    The plant provides a local habitat for thousands of birds, many of local and international conservation significance.

    It's also a breeding ground for the nationally threatened species, the Growling Grass Frog.