Huntly Barton and Raelene Bailey
It was brought to our attention last week via a Midland Express news report that a discharge of one million litres of raw sewerage spilled into Post Office Creek in 2016, for which Coliban Water was fined $100K.
We live on a farm on the Campaspe River which is below Post Office Creek but just above where Snipes Creek discharges into the Campaspe River. We find it extraordinary that this discharge was not brought to the attention of people living down stream at the time as we use the water for stock and domestic purposes.
Below our pump hole the sewage farm creek, Snipes Creek, runs into the Campaspe. A native duck weed (Azola) has been prevalent and in summer completely covers the holes below Snipe Creek. It is red in colour, but was never prevalent above Snipes Creek. In the last few years it has grown above the discharge creek well above our property and we have noticed it growing at the Windmill Bridge.
We are greatly concerned about this type of discharge on our fragile ecology and presently have the Platypus Conservancy testing water for the presence of platypus and rakali (the native water rat).
Twenty years ago we had willows removed and the river fenced off, it provides perfect habitat for these two species.
We have spoken with the Platypus Conservancy and they have said that the spillage of raw sewage into streams would be disaster for the platypus and rakali.
We’re also concerned of the effects on our stock drinking this water. Recently we had stock losses due to Leptospirosis, one year losing 15 calves that at autopsy proved positive to this organism, despite never having had any prior episode of this disease on this property.
What we require from Coliban Water is the results over at least 10 years of water testing and disclosure of all illegal discharges above and below the outlet and above and below Snipes Creek.