It seems there have been two, quite separate, recent pollution problems in our creek which were initially assumed to be linked:
- one that started 2 -3 weeks ago – a sporadic yellowish discolouration which several Friends have reported – this is ongoing – cause has not be found or remediated
- the other – a sewage contamination which Yarra Valley Water has attended to.
We separate the two is what follows:
1. Sporadic Yellowish Discolouration
Several Friends have reported a sporadic yellowish discolouration – often on weekends it seems. Possible causes are construction projects where waste water is dumped in the creek or water main issues. Please see the photograph below of the sign in Furness Park for reporting such problems to the EPA.
The community should be vigilant and report instances to the EPA. The number on the sign might be out of date – please phone 1300 372 842 if you have problems reporting your issue. To report on-line and/or read details on how to report a problem, please visit: http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/get-involved/report-pollution .
Update 1/2/2014 08:15: a cloudy substance started to flow from under Blackburn Road into the park – the EPA has been alerted. Update 2/2/2014: The EPA called back – but unfortunately, there appears to have been a communication problem – the operator had only just received the report and was ringing from the Bendigo office which was handling all the state’s problems for that day…
2. Effluent Contamination
A Yarra Valley Water maintenance crew has conducted works Friday (31/1/2014) morning at the Laurel Grove bridge cleaning up after a sewer main problem in Canterbury Road. The photo shows bales of straw and an absorbent roll in the water to deter pollution going further downstream.
The last time this sort of treatment was needed, a car had gone into the creek!
There seemed to be a little oil on the water near the bridge:
Also, the fish there seemed quite agitated (see the ripples in the photo below). Update (10:30PM 31/1/2014): there are three signs at the Laurel Grove footbridge stating that “Sewer pipes under repair”… small wonder the fish were browned off!
Update 3/2/2014: This morning around 10.30am Yarra Valley Water had contractors in at Laurel Grove South removing the effluent. From the information gained from a couple of the workers, they skim it off, remove the bales and absorbent roll then flush it out. They had a tanker in sucking it all up. Final(?) Update 6/2/2014: Flushing of the creek was completed this morning. Friends may have noticed hoses from fire hydrants going directly into drains to create a flow to flush the remaining effluent through the system.