Western Water fined over spill

Western Water has been slapped with an $8261 fine for an unlicensed discharge of Class B recycled water at Gisborne.
The spill of more than 40 megalitres, which occurred at the Willows (South of Mills Road), happened in June and was later estimated to have been leaking over a four-month period.
Some of the spill flowed into Jacksons Creek.
Environment Protection Authority found the corporation did not have systems in place to promptly identify infrastructure failures and take appropriate action.
EPA team leader of compliance and enforcement Paul Ratajczyk said this was a major factor in EPA taking enforcement action in this case.
“Western Water is obliged to inform EPA if spills of this nature occur,” Mr Ratajczyk said.
“Some of the spilled recycled water found its way into Jackson Creek, however, this only had limited short-term impact due to having already gone through the wastewater treatment process.
“While the environmental harm was limited, it is a condition of the EPA licence that water corporations have appropriate systems, controls and infrastructure in place to prevent spills of this nature or are able to rapidly identify and rectify issues, this was not the case in this instance.
Mr Ratajczyk said the EPA expected that Western Water should have been more diligent in monitoring of the facility and it was clear that further precautions could have been in place.

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