Running alongside Indigo Creek, a settlement of what would come to be known as Barnawartha was formed in the early 1840s. The name is derived from an Aboriginal word, variously recorded as meaning ‘tall rushes’ or ‘parting of the storms’. East of the hilly, forested township of Chiltern and north towards the Murray River, Barnawartha had extensive open land suitable for grazing and cultivation . Cereals, fodder, potatoes and dairy goods were the primary produce until a successful vineyard was planted in 1858. Wine would win out over potatoes, and the region established itself as a land of vineyards.
Unlike many other towns in the north east, Barnawartha wasn’t known for its gold. However, its rich pastoral land supplied the miners nearby, and in this way Barnawartha supported the goldrush. The town also has a link to Ned Kelly; the original Bogong Winery was established by Gustav and William Baumgarten, but only after William served prison time for supplying Ned Kelly with horses.
North East Water
Barnawartha’s Water Supply
Kiewa Murray Water Region Water Authority became responsible for Barnawartha’s water supply and sewerage services when the Authority was constituted on 1 December 1994. During its second year of operation, the Authority provided water to a population of 510 and wastewater services to a population of 110.
Barnawartha’s supply was untreated and was sourced from two bores, with an additional back up bore also available. Water was fed to a roofed service basin, before being provided to the Barnawartha reticulation.
New Water Treatment Facility for Barnawartha
A new disinfection plant for Barnawartha was completed in November 1999. This allowed the water supply to be chlorinated, which brought Barnawartha’s water in line with the World Health Organisation Guidelines.
Barnawartha is connected to the Murray System
During the 2008-09 financial year, North East Water constructed the Wodonga to Chiltern pipeline. The project involved the construction of a $2.7 million pipeline that stretched 16 kilometres from the Logic Centre inland port at North Barnawartha, to the Chiltern reticulation system. The pipeline was completed in March 2009, and in June 2009 Barnawartha began receiving water from the Murray system via the new pipeline.
Today, Barnawartha’s water continued to be sourced from the Murray system, through the Wodonga Creek. Raw water is pumped 5.5 kilometres, from the Wodonga Creek to a 32 megalitre raw water storage at the Wodonga Water Treatment Plant. From there the treated water is transported through the Wodonga to Chiltern pipeline, leaving the pipeline at North Barnawartha, where it’s distributed to the Barnawartha reticulation system.
New Sewer Scheme for Barnawartha
During North East Region Water Authority’s first year of operation in 1997, the Barnawartha Sewerage Consultative Committee was formed. The Committee assisted with the exchange of information between the community, the Authority and contractor during the construction of the Barnawartha Sewerage Scheme.
The Barnawartha wastewater scheme was established in 1998 and was officially opened on 11 October 1998, by the Honourable Patrick McNamara, Deputy Premier of Victoria and Minister for Agriculture and Resources. The scheme used PVC pipework, with wastewater transported to a local lagoon treatment plant.
In 2012, a 4.2 kilometre PVC rising main to the Logic gravity sewerage system in Barnawartha North was constructed. Sewage is transported and treated at the West Wodonga wastewater treatment plant.