Honouring the late Ian Bartlett

A celebration ‘re-commemorating’ the life and achievements of the late Ian Bartlett was held on Friday 18 June at Candowie Reservoir and the Ian Bartlett Water Purification Plant in Almurta.

Guests travelled from as far away as Bendigo and Portland for the unveiling of a Stonehenge ‘Bluestone’ seat from stone quarried at Yambuk, Ian’s home township.

The stone featured ‘Balmoral’ polished granite surrounding the memorial plaque that had been quarried at Padthaway in the south east of South Australia, and then cut and polished by Bam Stone in Port Fairy. Bam Stone is a family business owned by Ian’s first cousin Don Bartlett and his partner Yvonne Bartlett.

As well as Ian’s family other guests included close friends, past employees, the Westernport Water Board, Community Consultative Panel, the executive management team, colleagues, Melbourne Water, local landholders and media representatives.

Ian died unexpectedly in January 1996 due to post surgery complications, aged 41.

Starting on 31 March 1980, Ian served as an engineer and manager at Westernport Water for more than 15 years.

He was an honors graduate in civil engineering from Melbourne University with post-graduate qualifications in engineering water supply.

Ian’s major achievements included the refurbishment of the water supply to Phillip Island, major improvements to the operation enlargement and management of Candowie Reservoir, and design and construction of a water treatment plant at Candowie. This led to the construction of the dissolved air flotation treatment system used today in the supply of high quality water to Westernport Water customers.

In March 1991, Ian resigned from Westernport Water and established an engineering firm with friend and colleague Peter Denson.

The firm was awarded the contract to implement the major sewer works and water supply extension to Phillip Island and Westernport communities.

Ian played a key role in the design and construction of the sewerage systems and treatment plants implementing over $25 million in infrastructure with this project alone.

Colleagues that worked with Ian remember him for his exceptional mathematical capabilities and his ability to accurately calculate complex solutions in his head.

Ian was very well liked and had a great ability to communicate very complicated topics, making it easy for anyone to understand, no matter what their education level or employment field.

On the day guests were invited to a tour of the reservoir and treatment plant.

It was noted the treatment plant still uses the same water purification processes that Ian designed back in the 1980s, with a few added technological advancements that are essential for today’s operations.

Management and staff from Westernport Water would like to thank the family, friends, and special guests as well as past and present colleagues of Ian Bartlett for joining us on the day.