$6.4 million Rochester water siphon upgrade works

Two key water siphons on the Waranga Western Channel are being upgraded at an estimated cost of $6.4 million. 

Work will start on the Campaspe River Siphon and Bulls Siphon on May 18 and is expected to be completed by August 6.

The work on the channel, just outside Rochester, will ensure ongoing water supply for the Rochester and Loddon Valley areas. 

Drivers in the Rochester area have been advised that Zegelin Road, between Murdoch and Tasker Rds, will be closed for the duration of the works at Bulls Siphon.

There will also be trucks and heavy machinery moving through the area while the works are underway.

Goulburn Murray Water managing director Pat Lennon said there was an opportunity to complete the works on the Campaspe Siphon in one winter which would potentially save costs.

“It would also save the need for de-watering the channel again and mean less interruption to supply,” he said.

Winter work: The planned works and road disruptions while the $6.4 million in siphon repairs is carried out.

Winter work: The planned works and road disruptions while the $6.4 million in siphon repairs is carried out.

Project Manager Jarrod O’Brien said the estimated $3.7 million in work on the Campaspe River Siphon would re-line the siphon with fibre-reinforced concrete to ensure the historic asset continues to operate for both Rochester and Loddon Valley Irrigation Districts.

“The siphon was built in the early 1900s and is nearing the end of its serviceable life, which is why it’s important these works take place,” he said. 

Mr O’Brien said that roughly $2.7 million of work on nearby Bulls Siphon would involve “removing the old structure and replacing with a new four barrel three-metre diameter reinforced concrete structure”. 

“Bulls Siphon has experienced significant deterioration and has experienced considerably more failures compared to Campaspe,” he said.

The works will take place during GMW’s winter works/irrigation shut-down from May 15 to August 15, which will minimise the impact on irrigators.

GMW customers have been reminded to make alternative arrangements for water supply during the irrigation off season/winter works period to ensure their supplies.