Coliban Water Authority has been given a licence exemption by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) for an emergency discharge of treated waste Class B recycled water from its Kyneton Waste Water Treatment Plant to the Campaspe River.
The discharge started Friday 31 May, 2019 and will continue until further notice. The following recommendations are for the use of water taken from the Campaspe River between Kyneton and where it enters Lake Eppalock:
- Do not drink the water.
- Do not use the water for any domestic use such as washing, showering, bathing or processing food. This water may be used for flushing the toilets.
- Do not use the water for any recreational use such as filling backyard swimming pools.
- Do not consume any animal such as fish and crayfish caught in the Campaspe River.
- Do not use the water for irrigating food crops consumed raw. This water may be used for irrigating non-food crops such as turf, trees and flowers provided basic hygiene is practiced with a preference for using a underground drip-feed system. It may also be used to irrigate trees when produce grow 1 m above the ground. The produce should not be wet from the water used for irrigation when harvested. Dropped produce must not be harvested.
- Restrict public and stock during irrigation period and for a period of 4 hours after irrigation or until dry, drying or ensiling of fodder. The water can be used for irrigation of pasture and fodder for dairy cattle subject to a withholding period of 5 days before pasture use, drying or ensiling of fodder.
- Controls must be in place to ensure pigs are not exposed to pasture or fodder.
Further exemptions will need to be assessed by EPA if Coliban requests the discharge of Class C water from the from the treatment plant. Coliban Water will provide local updates to the water quality. Go to the Coliban Water website at www.coliban.com.au
What is a 30A approval?
Section 30A is an overriding provision of the Environment Protection Act under which the EPA can authorise discharges, emissions, storage, treatment, disposal and handling of waste in emergencies and other temporary situations that would otherwise be an offence under the Act.
30A approvals are not issued lightly, as they permit activities that would not normally be allowed.
Owners, occupiers or operators of commercial or industrial premises (with or without an EPA licence) may apply for a 30A approval. Examples of 30A approvals include emergency events (such as cleanup after a bushfire or flood), temporary events (like temporary relief of a public nuisance or community hardship) and commissioning (bringing new equipment on or offline).
EPA decides when to issue a 30A approval on a case-by-case basis, but we must respond to applications promptly. The approval must be consistent with the purpose, principles and other provision of the Act.
EPA takes a risk-based approach to the assessment of a 30A approval to ensure that the proposed activities:
- are appropriate for the event
- will not cause any long-term damage to the environment
- consider the needs of the community and other stakeholders.
30A approvals can last for up to 120 days.