Barwon Water partners with Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority

Published on 05 August 2022

Barwon Water partners with Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority to save water and protect environment.

Barwon Water and Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority are teaming up for a “Don’t flush it!” campaign and to promote sustainable water use at sites the Authority manages. 

Barwon Water Manager Operations Anna Murray said that the partnership would cover education and awareness activities, water usage monitoring, leak detection and repair as well as upgrades to fixtures and fittings to improve water efficiency. 

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority to save water and share messaging about what can and can’t be flushed down toilets to help prevent sewer spills in our delicate coastal environments.” 

The first stage of the coastal partnership will see signage installed at public toilets on the foreshore to educate customers and visitors about what not to flush down the toilet. 

“Our coastal areas have experienced a high number of blockages, particularly during the peak holiday times, with our teams noticing the cause to most likely being things other than toilet paper being flushed down the loos.” 

Signage will be installed across the Authority’s amenity blocks, and will include messages to only flush the 3 Ps: poo, pee and (toilet) paper. 

“Wipes don’t break down in the sewerage system like toilet paper does, and neither do napkins, cotton buds, nappies, condoms or sanitary products. These things block sewerage pipes and pumps, leading to smelly overflows,” Ms Murray said. 

“We have recently welcomed the release of a new standard that will help in the fight against sewer blockages. Standards Australia has released a new national standard to make sure wet wipes and other items marketed as ‘flushable’ pass a series of tests to verify that they break down in sewers and do not contribute to blockages and overflows. 

“But for us at the moment, the message is simple – if it’s not toilet paper, it goes in the bin.” 

The Great Ocean Road Coast and Park Authority’s Commercial Business Manager Paul Rogasch said the campaign naturally aligned with the Authority’s commitment to protecting the coastal environment. 

“The Great Ocean Road’s natural beauty is central to its status as a world-class tourism destination attraction and the liveability of our local communities.

“Water conservation and waste management are fundamental to environmental health, and partnering with Barwon Water will significantly increase our capacity to save water and prevent sewer overflows.” 

As well as the Don’t flush it! message the first stage of the project will educate holidaymakers and local residents to be more sustainable with their water use when visiting the region and using public and camping facilities 

The second stage will include installation of data loggers to track consumption and determine appropriate projects that will help save water at the Authority’s sites (like caravan parks and recreational/open space areas, Crown land and foreshore reserves, public amenities). 

Ms Murray said Barwon Water was committed to building partnerships that promote and improve water efficiency as well as providing sustainable benefits to the community and coastal towns along the Great Ocean Road. 

The Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority was established on 1 December 2020 to deliver better protection and management of the iconic coast and parks of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. 

As a public land manager for the Great Ocean Road coast and parks, it manages a wide variety of public land from National Parks to coastal beaches and town foreshores. 

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