An Open Day at the Western Treatment Plant

Realise I’ve been very tardy of late with posts in here, but we have as they say been somewhat occupied with other activities. So much so that I spent 10 days at home with the Garden Gnome, cleaning, raking, moving, chopping and other things that those with gardening tendencies delight in. Me, I’d rather be behind a camera in the scrub, cuppa at the ready, and the breeze flowing though the trees and the sunshine making it final part of its long journey down through the openings in the tall tree canopy.

But. It was not to be, and the work around the house, inside and out had to proceed, and with good reason, as will become clear in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, had the chance along with EE and Mr An Onymous, and Ms  In Cognito to be hosted by Melbourne Water at an open day down at the Western Treatment Plant.

The day consisted of several streams, and we chose the “Wetlands” and the “Historic” tour.  And Melb Water provided the folk to talk about it all, and to show us about the plant in really great big tourist buses.  And to explain along the way the various operations and  the planning and development of what the plant is doing and going to do in the future.  Super.

So much fun to sit in a bus and be driven about the plant, downside was not being able to stop for every interesting bird that went by, but did learn lots of things.  Even got to see my mate Helmut from Flickr on the side of the road, and got everyone in the bus to wave to him.  Not sure anybody other than me understood what was happening, including Helmut, but hey!  I thought it a good thing at the time

After a bbq lunch, thanks to some hard working service group folk, we were back in a bus for the afternoons foray, which covered the historical side of things.  It took us to see some first inhabitants special areas and the work that is being done to keep the heritage and open it up for access to the local people of the area as a park and meeting place. What impressed me most by all this was the opportunity to develop the land and keep it pretty much  a ‘meeting place’ as in the past, but now as a part of a modern housing development.

The highlight of the day was a visit to the old township inside the plant of Cocoroc.  Funny when you Googlemap things that is the identity given to area for shots taken around the eastern end of the plant.
Cocoroc was a township of about 500 people who were the workers in the plant. Known euphemistically as “Water men”, they controlled the flow of “stuff” around the plant and how it was distributed out on to the run off paddocks.   A full working township with bus stops, swimming pool, town centre hall, an historic water tank, and a football field. Having played the odd game of country footy in me time, I was pretty excited by  the chance to walk out on to the old ground and imagine the games that would have been played there.  A beautiful Black Kite played in the the breeze overhead and made it all that more special.

The old water tank was originally part of the water supply system for Melbourne before the Yan Yean Reservoir was opened in the late 1800s.  The tower used to stand on the  top of the hill near where the Eye and Ear hospital is today.   It was moved to Cocoroc, and was part of the fire defence system.  It has been restored by Melb Water and now is in pristine condition and the area under the tank is to be used as part of the information centre in the future.  Super

If the plans go ahead, then in the not to distant future Cocoroc might well have a revival as Melb Water has plans to relocate is Information Centre and some of the operations out to this location and the town will indeed be part of the heritage restored in the plant.

A bus stop for a look at the variety of wader birds in the plant.  Many have just made the trip back from summer in Siberia.
A bus stop for a look at the variety of wader birds in the plant. Many have just made the trip back from summer in Siberia.
Male Superb Fairy Wren
Male Superb Fairy Wren
A lovely magpie who quietly carolled at me as I moved closer for a portrait.
A lovely magpie who quietly carolled at me as I moved closer for a portrait.
Detail of the water tank at Cocoroc
Detail of the water tank at Cocoroc
Detail of the support arches for the water tank.
Detail of the support arches for the water tank.
Cocoroc Detail.  Showing the signs of ageing.
Cocoroc Detail. Showing the signs of ageing.
Cocoroc footy sheds. One can only image how much talk, noise and liniment are connected with the history.
Cocoroc footy sheds. One can only image how much talk, noise and liniment are connected with the history.
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One thought on “An Open Day at the Western Treatment Plant

  1. That water tank is an amazing structure. Good to see the place is being maintained, yet still allowing the wildlife to live along side.

    Like

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