To prepare for the upcoming fire season, Malmsbury and Taradale Fire Brigade members recently met with Coliban Water to better understand the water supply in their region.
Brigade members were made aware of different water sources to help fight fires.
Coliban Water’s Network Services Manager Nathalie Lopez and Water and Sewer Planning Coordinator Paul Vickery presented to the eager volunteers on 4 June.
Throughout the informative training session, Malmsbury brigade volunteer Philip Flanagan said they learned about the Coliban Water supply systems and how they function across Taradale, Elphinstone, Malmsbury, and Kyneton.
“We were shown maps of the various water sources, including dams such as the Upper Coliban and Malmsbury, and the pipeline and aqueduct networks for all those areas,” Philip said.
“We went through where the systems were boosted and the location of additional water holdings in tanks and towers.
“We identified areas that had particularly higher and lower pressures, and what we could expect in certain circumstances when required out on the fireground.”
Drawing on their experiences from previous fire incidents, members took the opportunity to ask key questions about the systems.
“It was fantastic to understand how the Upper Coliban dam syphons to much of Kyneton, but also has a branch line down to Malmsbury,” he said.
“With the majority of the area siphoning off dams, we were also made aware of additional pumping facilities.
“Having this knowledge greatly increases our ability to source water supply to efficiently fight fires.”
Nathalie and Paul highlighted some of the improvements that are planned for the systems over the next few years, particularly around Elphinstone, to improve water pressure.
Following the success of the session, members suggested the training be repeated every two years to refresh members' knowledge, inform new members and ensure all are aware of system developments.
Malmsbury Fire Brigade Captain Linda Krive thanked Coliban Water for the enlightening presentation and for the recent $5000 grant provided to the brigade as part of its Community Rebate scheme.
The money will be used to buy lightweight, battery-operated chainsaws, a high intensity light and batteries, and eight e-flares for roadside incident visibility and safety.