Preparation works for the long-awaited major upgrade of Warrnambool Sewage Treatment Plan will begin this week with contractors clearing the site.
But that cost won't be known until after the tender for construction of the project is awarded.
Wannon Water managing director Andrew Jeffers said all planning and approvals for the project were in place and design work was now largely completed.
"Tenders for the main construction package close next week," Mr Jeffers said.
"We'll then be going through a comprehensive assessment process to determine the preferred contractor with the aim of starting construction towards the end of the year."
In the meantime, Grange Environmental Services, a specialist division of large Australian civil construction company, the Delta Group, has been awarded the stage one work package.
"This includes initial site clearing and the removal of material contaminated with heavy metal from the abandoned rifle target facility," Mr Jeffers said.
"Grange will be on site this week to begin preliminary work including the installation of temporary fencing and the removal and mulching of vegetation to provide access to the area.
"All contaminated material will be carefully sorted and tested before being transported to disposal facilities approved by the Environment Protection Authority.
"Our engineering consultants GHD will have an environmental team overseeing the process to ensure all compliance requirements are met."
Mr Jeffers said Wannon Water would revegetate the area in partnership with local groups once the upgrade project was completed.
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