Historic Warrnambool water tower gets a facelift

27 April 2018

Wannon Water’s historic Liebig Street Water Tower will get a facelift in time for its 125th anniversary later this year.

The metal tank at the top of the sandstone structure will be recoated with silver paint similar to the existing colour. The work is necessary due to spot corrosion which has developed on the tank’s wall and will ensure reliable services for customers well into the future.

Wannon Water project manager Murray Dancey said corrosion specialists McElligotts Partners won the contract for the project which will involve the use of an elevated working platform.

“Work is due to begin on Monday (April 30) and will include surface preparation, bristle blasting, priming and coating,” Mr Dancey said.

“The platform will need to be set up on two sites – on the Liebig Street nature strip and on the private road that runs along the northern side of the site. Some traffic disruption will occur when the contractors are working in the private road and a traffic-management plan will be used to minimise disruption for residents. Access to properties will be maintained using the access from Mickle Crescent.”

Mr Dancey said the project was expected to take several weeks to complete, dependent on the weather.

The heritage-listed Liebig Street Water Tower is one of Wannon Water’s oldest pieces of infrastructure. It was built in 1893 as part of Warrnambool’s original water supply scheme which sourced water from the Merri River. However, the supply had its issues. The water was hard and the volume available gradually dropped as farming activities along the river grew.

The Otways were identified as an alternative source and the construction of a new supply system began in 1935 as part of an employment relief fund following the Great Depression. Warrnambool’s new water supply was commissioned in 1939 and the Liebig Street tower continues to play a vital role in delivering water to Wannon Water’s customers today.