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Tarago Water Treatment Plant

Delivering additional capacity to Melbourne’s water network

Melbourne Water Corporation
Contract Value
$95M AUD
Project Duration
Commenced: 2007
Estimated Completion
Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

“The reconnection of Tarago Reservoir is $3 million under budget and six months ahead of schedule providing a welcome boost to our low water supplies.”

- John Brumby, Victorian Premier

Project Overview

This project was the first stage in augmenting Melbourne City’s drinking water supplies in response to climate change and drought.

Melbourne Water recognised that reconnecting Tarago Reservoir would provide an additional 15 gigalitres of water a year on average.

Tarago Water Treatment Plant is a new 70 megalitre per day Dissolved Air Flotation Filtration/UV Water Treatment Plant at Drouin West in Gippsland, east of Melbourne. The project was delivered through a collaborative contract between UGL, Melbourne Water and Baulderstone and is Melbourne Water’s first new water treatment facility in many years.

With the successful reconnection of the Tarago Reservoir, through the construction and commissioning of the Tarago Water Treatment Plant, a long-term average supply of 21 gigalitres per annum has been achieved.

The Challenge

This was the first project to be delivered under the Victorian Government’s $4.9 billion Water Plan, which aimed to boost water supplies by 240 gigalitres a year by 2011. As part of commitments under this Water Plan the Tarago Reservoir was required to be reconnected into the Melbourne Water network by the end of 2009 with contract award late 2007.

The Solution

UGL’s whole of project lifecycle experience was utilised to ensure the treatment process was robust and would meet water quality requirements while being delivered in the most efficient manner possible. Plant operator involvement at the earliest possible stage meant operations and maintenance considerations were integrated early and the end users owned toe project throughout.

UGL prides itself on project continuity and team members involved through the design and procurement phases continued on the project through to commissioning, completions and handover, helping ensure knowledge transfer to Melbourne Water personnel and accountability for the project over its delivery.

Key Outcomes and Benefits

UGL’s step-by-step collaborative approach to the project gave the Alliance certainty in achieving the necessary outcomes.This approach also ensured that the challenge of working with multiple stakeholders would be successfully managed to deliver an optimal outcome.

Key successes included:

  • Through UGL’s end to end project delivery expertise and focus on schedule management the project was delivered 6 months earlier than the Government commitment date. This was achieved utilising early works, concurrent detailed design, procurement and construction with a focus on process commissioning and proof of performance periods.
  • Further leveraging UGL’s process and commissioning capability meant value engineering initiatives were able to ensure the project was capable of being delivered within budget without affecting plant capacity or water quality.
  • With no permanent electricity connected for the first 12 months of the project, biodiesel fuel was implemented for all site power. Biodiesel was also used on all suitable plant and equipment during the construction period. A carbon inventory was completed and carbon credits purchased to offset total CO2 emissions. A zero carbon footprint for the construction duration resulted.
  • Implementation of the ‘Energy For Life’ Initiative to improve the physical and mental well-being of all project personnel resulted in 82% of participants achieving measurable health improvement during the course of the project.
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