River warning lifted

A health warning applied to the Campaspe River between Kyneton and Lake Eppalock since early June was lifted on Sunday afternoon by the Environment Protection Authority.
The warning had been issued after Coliban Water admitted it had been forced to make daily unauthorised releases of water unfit for stock and domestic use to the river from the Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant.
EPA compliance and enforcement team leader for the northwest region, Paul Ratajczyk, said the latest data from Coliban Water showed the river had had consistently good flows in July.
“Those good flows mean Coliban Water can meet their EPA discharge licence requirements for water quality,” Mr Ratajczyk said.
“Coliban Water and EPA will continue to monitor the discharge and river flows, to ensure the water quality continues to comply with Coliban’s licence,” he said.
But the news is of little comfort to landowners downstream of the plant who have been frustrated by repeated non-compliant releases of diminished quality water to the river over several years.
Local resident Huntly Barton said the flow meter used to gauge the river flows was located 60 kilometres below the discharge point at the plant, leaving waterholes above that point subject to a buildup of contaminants in the silt.
“Because of climate change and less flows in the river the high nutrients are building up in the silts, which will affect the food source for platypus and fish, and unless we get a large flood like the one we had in 2011 then the river above Lake Eppalock will continue to be compromised,” Mr Barton said.
“The people of Bendigo have got to realise that they’re drinking water from Eppalock.
“The only solution is for the facility at Kyneton to produced no less than B Grade water.”

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