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Olinda Private Water Mains

We are working with 16 Olinda residents who rely on private water mains.

These are private assets, which are not owned or maintained by Yarra Valley Water. Residents are responsible for their maintenance and repair.

We’ve been assisting residents since the June storms and will continue to provide support while they assess their options moving forward.

We’ve offered to subsidise the repair of their private water main assets or provide financial support for them to install or upgrade their own onsite water tanks.

There are many properties in the Yarra Ranges and elsewhere on Melbourne’s fringe which rely on water tanks and/or private water mains as a historical legacy. These private arrangements were set up as it would not have been cost-effective for large scale reticulated water network extensions to be made in their area at the time of development given low density and the complexity of the terrain and natural environment. Property owners in such areas generally rely on having their own water tanks, although past practice has also provided the opportunity for property owners to install at their cost a private water main connection to a reticulated water main (which is usually some distance from the property).

The cost to rebuild the private main in this particular instance is estimated at $194,000. Under this option, the residents collectively would provide a 20% up front contribution of $38,777. The remaining cost can then be spread over five years interest-free ($1939 per annum or $488 per quarter).

It would cost an estimated $1m if the 16 properties chose to connect to a Yarra Valley Water main built to national standards, which means it’s not financially viable. If Yarra Valley Water was to fund this, it would essentially be funded by the rest of the customer base.

We will continue to support residents as they finalise their water supply arrangements going forward.

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