Settlers arrived in Springhurst in the late 1830s, with its land used for farming and grazing. The area had a very small population until the discovery of gold in the 1850s, with mining at nearby Eldorado.
The opening of the Railway station on 29 November 1873 connected Springhurst to Wangaratta and Melbourne and contributed to a growth in population in the late 1800s.
North East Water
The Springhurst supply system consists of a 55ML Reservoir constructed in 1963 on Diddah Diddah Creek (approximately 4km upstream of the town). A water main delivered raw water to the water treatment plant, with the treated water then supplied to the town using an online pressure pump.
From its inception until it was taken over by Ovens Water in 1994, Springhurst was operated by a local waterworks trust. Although there are no documented records, anecdotal evidence from local residents suggests that the surface water supply was very reliable with the Reservoir spilling each year (always a good sign there was enough water).
Between 2002 and 2009, however, the Reservoir failed to fill on four occasions, three times from being drawn down to dead water (water the current system was unable to access), and once due to blue green algae. Water carting was required for 6 months in 2003, 5 months in 2007 and was in place for 3 months in 2009.
Even when water quantity was not a problem, there were ongoing quality issues in the reservoir from elevated levels of iron, manganese and algae (both green and blue green), particularly at the lower storage levels.
North East Water expansively explored groundwater options, though we concluded that the shallow, unconsolidated sediments were not extensive enough to sustain prolonged pumping.
So in late 2009, North East Water launched a project to link the water supply for Springhurst to the far more reliable grid system supplied from Wodonga and the Murray River. Not only did this system provide significant improvement to the operational inefficiencies of providing supply to Springhurst, it also eliminated the operational complexities and risks associated with resource availability and water quality. The supply from the Murray provided a long-term, sustainable resource to Springhurst and allowed for the same level of service as for major towns.