Mount Hotham

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Water & Catchment Management

 The Resort is located at the headwaters of the Kiewa, Mitta Mitta, Dargo (Mitchell) and Ovens River catchments. Two of these river systems, the Ovens and the Dargo, have Heritage River status within Victoria and are recognised as having special status due to their regional contribution to the Murray River and the Gippsland Lakes respectively The Resorts unique location in the headwaters of four major river systems, places it in a delicate environment, and therefore it must carefully consider water quality and control of runoff through effective catchment management to ensure downstream water quality.  Under the Alpine Resorts (Management) Act (1997) the Board is responsible to provide supply of potable water conforming to Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and collection and processing of wastewater to comply with EPA license limits.

Potable Water

The resort requires water for a variety of uses including drinking water and snowmaking.  Potable water is sourced from Swindlers Creek.  A catchment area of 160 hectares feeds a small reservoir that holds 0.5 Ml. The water is pumped from the reservoir to storage tanks on Mount Higginbotham. All drinking water is disinfected by means of Ultra Violet (UV) irradiation before reticulation to consumers. The annual diversion for potable water is approximately 90 Ml; in 2010/11 102.4ML of potable water was consumed within the resort and 96.5ML during 2011/12.  The higher figure for 2010/11 includes significant water draw to fill Loch Dam for fire fighting purposes.  The majority of water is pumped during winter with supply demand significantly reduced during the summer months.  The Board regularly tests water quality and reports to the Department of Human Services regularly. Click here to see a copy of the latest DHS water report.  The Swindlers Creek catchment is currently the resorts singular water supply.  As a result the Board recently commissioned a hydrogeological assessment to assess the suitability of an alternative groundwater supply.

Wastewater and Water Recycling

Raw sewerage is collected from the village and treated at the sewerage treatment plant located near the RMB workshop.  Upgrades in 2008 as part of the Wastewater and Water Conservation Project (“The Project”) were an initiative of the Mount Hotham Resort Management Board to meet State Environmental Protection Policy, Waters of Victoria. The Board worked closely with the EPA and consultant Mr Zlatko Tonkovic of Yabbie Pond Pty Ltd  and the delivery of the project was based on a public private partnership between the Victorian Water Trust (VWT), Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board (MHARMB) and The Mount Hotham Skiing Company (MHSC).  This project was developed to mitigate issues associated with meeting compliance standards in the discharge of secondary treated effluent into the Dargo River and to increase the snowmaking capacity of the resort by providing Class A recycled water supply infrastructure reducing the demand on water from the Swindlers Creek catchment. The project provides excellent environmental outcomes and saw the Board nominated as a finalist in the 2008 Banksia Environmental Awards.