Coldstream Recycled Water Pipeline

coldstream recycled water pipeline.jpg


We have secured $250,000 to go towards the Coldstream Recycled Water Pipeline Scheme. The funds were received from the National Water Infrastructure Fund.

This fund will support:

  • The establishment of management arrangements
  • Finalisation of the design
  • Completion of the regulatory and statutory approval processes

We are continuing to advocate and work with the Victorian and Federal governments. We will continue to seek opportunities to improve water security for businesses and landowners.

For more information on the project please refer to the tabs below. If you have any questions about this project please contact Helen Ruddell at or phone 9294 6197.

What is the Coldstream Recycled Water Pipeline project?

In 2017, a case was developed to supply recycled water to the Coldstream and Gruyere district.

We are awaiting an announcement from the Federal Government for a 50% funding contribution for the project.

In preparation for a successful announcement we have appointed a project officer.

The project officer will plan and carry out activities such as:

  • development of documentation
  • finalising the pipeline route
  • liaising with participating landowners

An interim committee has lodged paperwork with Consumer Affairs Victoria. The lodgement aims to establish the incorporated association, ‘Coldstream Water Supply Scheme Inc.’

‘Coldstream Water Supply Scheme Inc.’ will manage water supply assets that serve member properties.


Pipe alignment and depth

Where is the pipeline going?

A preferred pipe alignment has been established. The proposed route maximising the opportunity for community connections.

A future pipeline alignment will be located on land where agreement has been reached with the owners.

View the latest proposed route and information here. (PDF, 2MB)

The proposed pipeline crosses my property and I haven’t given consent

A proposed route was developed to assist with cost estimations and planning considerations. Due to topography and planning considerations the proposed pipeline crossed private properties, including some that would not need to access the water.

Not every landholder has been consulted for the published alignment. However, many landowners were happy for this to occur.

It will remain the landowner’s decision on whether the pipeline will access or cross their land.

How does this legally work?

Landowners who opted into the scheme will become members. Landowners who have given consent for the pipeline to access their property will also become members of the scheme.

New members must complete a legal agreement called a Community Water Supply and Access Agreement.

No construction will commence until this agreement is complete.  

What are my options for being part of the scheme?

Landowners that the pipeline will service or cross their property have four options available:

  1. Become part of the scheme and access either Class A or B water. The flow rate will depend on individual needs.

  2. Allow the pipeline to access or cross their property and pay for a blind tapping (for future activation at a cost to the property owner)

  3. Allow the pipeline to access or cross their property

  4. Not allow the pipeline to access or cross their property

How deep is the pipeline?

The pipeline will be buried at least 600mm underground. This is in-line with current industry pipeline standards. The pipeline can be buried deeper at the request of a landowner.


Scheme cost

How much will the scheme cost to build?

The current proposal is estimated to cost $16.1 million to construct. Any savings that can be obtained will go towards reducing the individual contributions required from landowners.    

How will the scheme be funded?

The scheme will be funded by the Federal Government (50% assuming the grant is successful) and landowners. Ongoing costs will be the responsibility of the landowners who are part of the scheme.

View more information about the grant program

Landowners will have the option of paying upfront or via a group loan.

What are the estimated costs of being involved?

A fee structure will be adopted and implemented by the members of the scheme.

Here is an example based on the business case for an average customer with a 2% share:

Class B:

  • Capital repayment ~$20,800 / yr
  • Fixed operating fee ~ $2,600/yr (average)
  • Pumping cost ~ $200/ML ƒ

Class A (Additional Costs):

  • Capital Investment $2 500/yr
  • Capital repayment on treatment plant ~$2,500/yr
  • Fixed cost - $50 - $150/yr (average)
  • Pumping cost Pumping cost $200/ML

» Class B ~ $200/ML Class B

» Treat / pump cost ~ $200/ML Class A

These costs will change depending on the final route and number of landowners that are part of the scheme.


Scheme governance

Who will govern and manage the scheme once it is operational?

The scheme will be entirely community owned and operated.  In order to proceed with a private scheme, a legal entity has been established. This legal entity provides the governance framework to manage the scheme as a Committee of Management.

All customers become signatories to the Community Water Supply and Access Agreement (CWSAA). This agreement is a legal instrument providing for the supply and access of water.

The CWSAA outlines how the scheme will operate, what the access requirements are and how the water will be delivered.

Given the size of the proposed scheme, the Committee of Management will need to employ a staff member or contractor to operate and maintain the scheme. This individual will organise water deliveries and schedule the system requirements (similar to any other public system).

We are aiming to have the legal entity functional by end of February 2018.

What security is provided by a CWSAA?

A CWSAA, once fully executed by all members, is lodged on title to provide both rights of access (for maintenance) and rights of water supply access (water supply).

The access rights ensure the asset is secure for the benefit of the entire Scheme and the water supply rights link the land to the financial responsibility to maintain the Scheme.

Why do some areas have Class A and others Class B?

Class A areas deliver treated water. Some landowners, such as strawberry growers require treated water.

The vast majority of the scheme will use Class B water directly from the Lilydale wastewater treatment plant.

The two proposed Class A branches of the scheme will have additional plant equipment to treat the water. The cost of the treatment plant and maintenance will be covered by the Class A landowners.

When do I need to finalise my flow rate and commit to the scheme?

We are currently finalising who is part of the scheme and what flow rates they require.

Landowners are encouraged to contact us to confirm their intentions. The number of landowners participating in the scheme will determine the design, route and costs.

Why are we discussing flow rate and not capacity?

The amount of water discharged from the Lilydale wastewater plant is capped at 6 megalitres per day (6,000,000 litres) and 1.8 gigalitres per annum (1,800,000,000 litres).

It is therefore more equitable if landowners have a maximum flow rate they can use during the high demand periods. This will guarantee water for each landowner on a daily basis, especially during summer.

Does the scheme have the ability to expand at a later stage?

No; there is limited opportunity for the scheme to expand due to two reasons:

  • the capped amount of water that is discharged per day.

  • raising of the capital funds required to create future capacity is not available.

Am I guaranteed access to water if I chose a ‘blindtap’ now?

Your ability to access water will depend on the available water at the time and location you choose to activate. The decision will be made by the scheme management committee.

Why isn’t the preferred route for the pipeline following the road network instead of private property?

When developing the design and business case we looked at the statutory planning overlays that will apply to planning controls.

This identified that it is easier and quicker to gain planning approvals if the pipeline is located in cleared ground on private property rather than public land or road reserves.

In some instances having it on a road reserve or crossing a road cannot be avoided and will need to be addressed within the planning application.

Having it predominantly on private land also reinforces that it is a community base scheme.

Who is responsible for ensuring Class B water is not running off into adjoining properties?

Landowners are responsible for the management and control of any water on their land. How the recycled water is stored and distributed needs to be considered as part of your analysis.

Some landowners have indicated that they will be constructing additional dams, tanks or underground storage. Landowners are encouraged to have discussions with neighbours to understand their needs and concerns.

View more information about landowner's responsibilities.

Council and Melbourne Water are also happy to discuss any specific questions or concerns.

What is the quality of the Class B water?

An analysis of the Class B water from the Lilydale wastewater plant in recent times shows the following properties:

Class B Water Quality

Monitoring specified by EPA

Class A


Class B


Lilydale TP

(Class B)

E. coli

<10 org /100mL

<100 org / 100mL

2.5org / 100mL


6 – 9

6 – 9


Susp. solids – BOD

Susp. solids – SS

<10 mg/L

<5 mg/L

<20 mg/L

<30 mg/L

1.0 mg/L

1.0 mg/L

Salinity (TDS)



300 mg/L


< 2 NTU



Residual Chlorine





Next steps

What are the next steps?

We are now focusing on finalising which other landowners wish to be part of the scheme and their required flow rates.

This will assist with finalising the route, costings, planning considerations and design. We will then reconfirm the route, costs and details with all landowners before entering into a more formalized agreement.  

We will continue to engage with landowners who won’t be accessing the water but whose property the pipeline might go through in order to reach landowners who will be using the water.  

We will also look to establish a 5-6 person working group over the next month or so to provide advice and assist with the engagement with landowners. This will be replaced by the Committee of Management once the legal entity is established.

We are encouraging landowners who would like to discuss any aspect of the scheme in further detail to contact:

James Collins
0419 368 998

Dean Delahunty
0407 520 758