Victorian-based Mintern Civil a family-owned business going back about 75 years is using its fleet of five Komatsu PC30MR-2 excavators in a major water pipeline project that will deliver high-quality reliable water supplies to western Victoria's Wimme

Construction of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project, which is a major investment in regional water infrastructure, began in November 2006 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2010.When complete, the new system will replace 17,500km of open, earthen channels with a piped water distribution system of about 8800km, reticulating water to about two million hectares and 36 towns throughout the Wimmera Mallee.

The project will provide:

a reliable, higher quality water supply to farms and towns across the region, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

water for rural, urban and commercial growth and development

the return of 83,000 megalitres (ML) of water savings returned to government for a range of uses, including environmental water releases to rivers and streams

up to 4000ML of water for 11 nominated recreational lakes and other local water bodies in the region with high conservation value.

The current Wimmera Mallee stock and domestic open channel system, including losses from farm dams and town storages, wastes enough water each year to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground 49 times.

This yearly waste also equates to the amount of water needed to fill 103,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Tim Page, Mintern Civil's Site Manager, said the Komatsu PC30MR-2 excavators had been specifically purchased for the Wimmera Mallee project, which the company started work on in August 2007.

"They are ideal for this project because of their size, weight and power, so they're pretty versatile," said Tim.

"On this project, we are looking after the installation of water meters for the on-farm works and we are doing the second stage of our contract which will probably run through to November-December."

In addition to the five PC30MR-2s that Mintern has recently taken delivery of, it also owns a Komatsu PC200-7, along with graders, backhoes and tip trucks.

As well as its current works on the Wimmera Mallee project, Mintern Civil carries out a wide range of work throughout the region, including road construction and maintenance, car parks, drainage works, on-farm works, and so on, with clients including local councils, VicRoads, water authorities and private organisations.

"We've found the Komatsu excavators to be good, reliable machines," said Tim. "And the support through Roger Bates, our Komatsu local representative, has been very good."