THE Harcourt Rural Modernisation Project reached a major milestone this week when the first sod was turned on a new pipeline that will given the community a more consistent water service.
Member for Rodney Paul Weller helped turn the first sod on the project that is set to replace 65 kilometres of open channel.
The 500 millimetre pipes will be laid by September, giving farmers and residents greater water security.
"It is effectively a new system that totally replaces the channel system that was built around the 1900s," Coliban Water managing director Jeff Rigby said.
"(The channels) have serviced the region well for a century but ageing over time and deterioration mean parts of the channels are leaking.
"The cost of replacing it against installing a pipeline showed the pipes were more efficient."
Mr Rigby said the major advantage of the new system was being able to deliver water continuously.
"Typically it was only seasonal but this system will provide water for 365 days a year," he said.
"With year-round supply there is flexibility in the future for (water) customers and businesses to diversify or create opportunities that might help them."
Mr Rigby said the Harcourt Rural Modernisation Project also allowed for growth in the region.
"The capacity is there for modest growth in the future," he said."We have catered for what we think will be an additional capacity."
Construction of the pipeline is expected to be completed by September.
"(Redline Construction) is confident they will be able to achieve the project in that construction window," Mr Rigby said.
"The small diameter pipe is less onerous to put in and it will definitely take time but at this stage of planning we are optimistic."
Mr Rigby said because of the complete reconfiguration of the water service, there would be a lot of engagement between Coliban Water, Redline Constructions and Harcourt land owners.
"We have to construct on and across properties," he said.
"Once it's completed there will be farm work to connect the system.
"We are still working on the supply point, so there is still a lot of work to do."