|The Moorabool River looking south east from the school camp|
|Looking north west along the river at the camp|
|Granite outcrop on the banks of the Moorabool River at the camp|
|Dam wall and pumping station of the She Oaks weir|
|The Moorabool River immediately downstream of the She Oaks weir|
Previously, Meredith township was supplied by its own pumping station and treatment plant located upstream of She Oaks Weir, just over 3km north west of the town, however water quality issues during drought years has seen this plant decommissioned. According to Barwon Water, supply for Meredith is now also provided by the Moorabool treatment plant via a pumping station and rising main to a balancing tank at the old treatment site. Lethbridge likewise was reliant upon the decommissioned Meredith plant, so water for that town is now fed from the Meredith pipeline to a balancing tank between the two towns, enabling a gravity feed.
Work on the weir and connecting pipeline began in 1972 and required tonnes of concrete and other supplies which were carried in on trucks down the steep southern bank, crossing the river at a narrow ford about 300m downstream of the weir.
|Ford across the Moorabool River|
|One of the concrete pipes carrying the flow of water under the ford|
As works progressed on the weir, the pipeline to carry the water to the Montpellier basins was also built, with both completed late in 1973. The system came online in January, 1974 when water from the She Oaks-Montpellier pipeline began to flow into the Montpellier basins, thus completing - as the plaque below states - a scheme to bring water to Geelong which began a century earlier in 1874.
|Plaque commemorating the formal opening and release of water from the She |
A more detailed description of the evolution of Geelong's water supply can be found in Leigh Edmond's Living By Water: a history of Barwon Water and its predecessors (available in print or online) including details of the construction of the She Oaks weir and pipeline.
*The water held at Stony Creek is taken from the Bostock Reservoir on the upper reaches of the East Moorabool River (flowing via the Bostock and Ballan Channels). It is then transferred from the Stony Creek Reservoirs to the Moorabool Water Treatment Plant by a pipe running under the Brisbane Ranges. This replaces an earlier open channel and pipe which carried the water through Anakie Gorge to holding basins at Lovely Banks which I discussed in my Turning on the waterworks post.