Campaspe River landholders label Coliban Water admission a ‘betrayal of trust’

Campaspe River landholders have slammed a new admission from Coliban Water as yet another “betrayal of trust” by the water authority.
CW agreed several months ago to relocate the flow meter used to determine whether the releases of wastewater it makes from the Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant to the river are compliant with its EPA licence.
The meter is currently located at Redesdale, 40 kilometres downstream from the release point at Kyneton, and where increased river flows greatly dilute the ratio of treated water to river water.
Landholders at Kyneton, closer to the release point, have long lobbied for the meter to be relocated above the discharge point to provide a truer reading of dilution levels between Kyneton and Lake Eppalock before other tributaries enter the river.
But last Thursday new CW managing director Damian Wells admitted that although the meter would soon be relocated to Kyneton, CW would continue to measure river flows at Redesdale.
“Our EPA licence allows a maximum ratio of 20 per cent treated water to 80 per cent flow in the Campaspe River (1:5), measured at the Redesdale gauging station,” Mr Wells said.
“This location was stipulated in our original EPA licence for the Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant when the dilution ratio was established.
“If river flow was to be measured from the new gauging station upstream of our discharge point the dilution ratio would have to be reviewed.”
Landowner Kim Strawhorn slammed CW for using the Campaspe River and tributary Snipes Creek as a dumping ground for decades.
CW has made non-compliant releases to the river 12 times since 2007.
“After months of promising to change the point of where the river flow is measured, they have just announced they will fit another flow meter at Kyneton but won’t use it!” Mr Strawhorn said.
“The whole point of measuring river flow at the dumping point has always been to apply accurate data to the dilution ratio to protect the river’s ecology between Kyneton and Lake Eppalock.
“Coliban Water know damn well that if they use the true data they will be in breach of their antiquated licence.”
The Midland Express understands it is no longer in fact a licence requirement that the readings must be taken from Redesdale. EPA north west regional manager Dr Scott Pigdon said the flow metering point was not set as part of Coliban Water’s EPA licence.
“Coliban Water do not require permission from EPA to move the flow metering point,” Dr Pigdon said.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council also resolved at its meeting last week to raise concerns about the pollution of the river with the minister for water.

2 thoughts on “Campaspe River landholders label Coliban Water admission a ‘betrayal of trust’

  • October 29, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Shameful and as might have been anticipated, given their history of environmental vandalism and their continued disdain of community. Indeed, operating without consideration of either truth or morality, Coliban Water have been using spurious science as regards the river since they first started dumping their industrial waste into it in 2007 – the year they were stripped of their licence to contaminate Snipes Creek because they had rendered it a stinking, lifeless drain!
    We will not allow this to happen to the Campaspe. There is an online place for you to add your voice.

    • October 30, 2019 at 8:25 am

      Do not dump industrial waste. Where is your conscience. We are over-industrialising and water is not an industry, nor is it a monopoly. However, it has become both.


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