Lake Eildon is synonymous with on-water fun, gleaming houseboats, pristine views and remote beauty – but there is also a vessel which bobs along and is anything but glamourous.
The Eildon ‘Turdtanic’ MSV11514 is operated and managed by Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW), and is essentially a motorised pontoon which allows houseboats to pull up alongside and offload their effluent.
“In peak season, the vessel might be emptied every second day,” GMW Manager Dams Operations Scott Wikman said.
“People might go houseboating for a week, so it makes sense they need to clear their toilet systems so they can stay out on the water.”
The effluent is pumped ashore via submarine pipeline at Point Warner to land-based settling ponds and then to the Eildon township plant for further treatment.
The Turdtanic, about 7m long, is moored on the eastern side of Jerusalem Creek and is one of two purpose-built on-water effluent removal services on Lake Eildon.
GMW General Manager Customer Operations Scott Barber said Lake Eildon is a picturesque place.
“It’s also home to more than 700 houseboats which is like a floating city.
“Although we harvest and deliver raw water to downstream users, we need to provide the cleanest water possible and we want the lake to stay clean so that future generations can enjoy this beautiful place,” Mr Barber said.
Houseboat owners pay a fee for the provision of this vital service.
The Turdtanic was custom-built by A & S Savage Marine in the early stages of the Millennium Drought to ensure proper disposal of waste on the lake during low water levels.