Yarra Valley Water partners with South Australian water engineers Waternish for Treatment Plant Improvement Program

Waternish Engineering has been awarded a five-year contract with Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne’s largest retail water utility, to upgrade sewage and recycled water treatment plants across its entire service area.

The contract is initially set for five years, with the potential to be extended to a total of ten years.

The $10 Million annual Treatment Plant Improvement Program marks the first permanent presence for Waternish outside of South Australia, going beyond the team’s project work in Tasmania, the ACT and Queensland.

“We’re going to use this as an opportunity to expand and grow the Waternish presence to other utilities and other delivery programs that exist in the Victorian market,” said Waternish Managing Director Simon White.

Waternish has established a base in Victoria and recruited locally to service the contract, and further job growth is anticipated as the program ramps up.

Simon White said Waternish is also investing in new plant and equipment as a direct result of the contract and is working towards maximising procurement opportunities with local social enterprises.

“This program really allows us to create a relationship with Yarra Valley Water. It is a refreshing partnership for us, and it forms the cornerstone of our Victorian expansion, and the beginning of us being able to duplicate what we have already achieved in South Australia,” White said.

It also underpins and strengthens the SA operations of Waternish, which has been in the design and construction of water infrastructure for more than 20 years and has its head office at Lonsdale, south of Adelaide.

The Treatment Plant Improvement Program kicked off mid 2023 with the initial focus on upgrading the Kinglake West Sewage Treatment Plant.     

Waternish, along with Yarra Valley Water’s other partner Service Stream, will work on the program to deliver small to medium projects to upgrade the existing infrastructure.

 Yarra Valley Water Growth Futures General Manager, Bridie Fennessy, said upgrading its treatment plants is essential to meet the needs of Melbourne’s growing population.

“We’re looking forward to working with Waternish, and our joint partner Service Stream, to renew and upgrade our treatment plants so we can continue to meet the needs of our growing community in the region,” Ms Fennessy said. “Waternish brings a wealth of experience from working in the South Australian water market and is growing its capacity in Victoria.”

Yarra Valley Water services more than 2 million people and over 61,000 businesses across a 4,000-kilometer area stretching from Wallan in the north to Warburton in the east. The water utility operates nine sewage treatment plants and three recycled water treatment plants in total.

“Through deeper relationships, a strong focus on sharing innovations and learnings, these partnerships provide a strong foundation to ensure the reliable operation of our critical infrastructure and efficient delivery of services to our customers,” Ms Fennessy said.

“We would like to thank the local community for their support as we carry out these works, which are set to benefit Melbourne for decades to come,” Ms Fennessy said.

Media contacts:

For more information on Waternish, contact

Simon White, Managing Director
0408 817 822

For more on Yarra Valley Water’s Treatment Plant Improvement Program, contact

Katrina Salhioui, Senior Media Advisor
0466 852 203