Bellbridge was built from a single farming property on the eastern side of the Hume Reservoir in the 1960s. One of the youngest townships on our map, the farming property was subdivided in the early 1970s and is identified by the 752 metre-long Bethanga Bridge.
North East Water
Bellbridge’s water system was developed in the mid-1970s using Asbestos Cement pipes.
During its first year of operation in 1994, the Kiewa Murray Region Water Authority provided drinking water to a population of 430 in Bellbridge, and provided wastewater services to a population of 305.
At the time, Bellbridge’s water supply was disinfected with chlorine but received no other form of water treatment. Following heavy rainfall events, high turbidity in the raw water would result in ineffective disinfection. The North East Region Water Authority recognised that works were required to improve the water supply for Bellbridge and made plans for a new water treatment plant.
The Bellbridge Water Treatment Plant
The Bellbridge Water Treatment Plant was completed in December 1999 and was officially opened on 8 March 2000, by Dr Brian Greed, O.A.M, Chairman of North East Water.
The plant uses coagulation and flocculation, a granular media filter, pH correction and chlorination. It can treat half a megalitre of water per day.
Bellbridge’s Water Supply Today
Bellbridge’s water supply is sourced from Lake Hume on the Victorian side of Bethanga Bridge. Raw water is taken directly from Lake Hume and then pumped through a 1.1 kilometre long pipeline to the Bellbridge Water Treatment Plant. The treated water is then pumped from the plant into two low level clear water storage tanks. Water from these tanks is gravity fed to the low level reticulation, while water is pumped to two high level tanks before being gravity fed to the high level reticulation.
Bellbridge’s Wastewater System
Bellbridge’s sewerage system was established in the mid-1970s using vitrified clay pipework. Today the system includes both vitrified clay and PVC pipework that was installed after 1990. There are three main pump stations; the stations that serve the Hillcrest Avenue and Bellbrae estate catchments pump wastewater into the main gravity reticulation system, which feeds into a third pump station at Mitta Avenue. Wastewater is then transferred from the Mitta Avenue pump station to the Bellbridge Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The Bellbridge Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Bellbridge Wastewater Treatment Plant was constructed in the late 1970s. The plant had a rotating biological contractor upstream of a lagoon, which was taken out of service in 2007.
In 2001 a 19 megalitre winter storage was constructed; this is also used as a maturation pond. The storage holds treated water for beneficial agricultural reuse within the Bellbridge area and eliminates the need to discharge to Lake Hume.
Today the Wastewater Treatment Plant consists of a primary lagoon, which is split into an aerated section and a facultative section (essentially a waste stabilisation pond which reduces organic content in wastewater).
In 2001 a reclaimed water irrigation system was constructed for Bellbridge. The system is set on five and a half hectares of pasture that is leased by North East Water and uses reclaimed water that is pumped from the winter storage.