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Friday, September 03, 2010

Tarago Reservoir Park and Forest Hike

Tarago Reservoir is located near the township of Neerim South, 20 km north of Warragul and 95 km east of Melbourne.

It was constructed in 1969 to supply several nearby townships, the Mornington Peninsula and Westernport regions.

The reservoir has a history of water quality issues and occasional algal blooms. Land surrounding the reservoir is used for a number of purposes, such as residential, agriculture and forestry, and this can have an impact on water quality.

In 1994 supply to Melbourne Water customers in Westernport and the Mornington Peninsula - who received untreated water from the reservoir - was stopped when the water became unsuitable for drinking.

To avoid the water quality problems of the past, Melbourne Water built a new water treatment plant at Drouin West, nine km south-west of the reservoir on the route of the existing Tarago-Westernport Pipeline. Work on the treatment plant began in October 2007 and was completed in June 2009.

The plant uses Dissolved Air Flotation and Filtration (DAFF) and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, effective water treatment technologies which are commonly used across Australia.

As well as the treatment plant, Melbourne Water is undertaking several major initiatives to improve water quality in the reservoir. This includes stormwater management, erosion control and sustainable farm management programs.

I visited Tarago Reservoir Park on Thursday afternoon September 2, 2010.

The picnic area has sloping lawns set amongst bush settings, with unique views of the reservoir and surrounding landscapes.

At the bottom of the picnic ground, the management road leads to a scenic walking track at the foot of the dam wall. This winds its way through a damp valley which is home to eucalypts and tree ferns in excess of two hundred years old.

The walking distance was about 3 km.

See all of the Photos of this trip!

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