Media Release


31 May 2019

Coliban Water has advised the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria that it needs to commence controlled releases of treated water from its Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant to the Campaspe River.

Executive General Manager Water Quality, David Sheehan, said the controlled releases were necessary at this time to ensure lagoon embankments on site are protected.

“Under our EPA Licence for the Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant we are permitted to discharge treated water to the Campaspe River during periods of natural river flows, allowing for dilution of treated water with the river water,” Mr Sheehan said.

“However with the dry autumn conditions there has been minimal flow in the Campaspe River, so we have been unable to release to the river in a manner that is consistent with our licence conditions. There is also a reduced irrigation demand for recycled water at this time of the year and, as a result, the lagoons are approaching capacity,” he said.

“Today we have commenced releasing water that has been treated to a Class B recycled water standard. Up to two megalitres of water a day will be released to the Campaspe River.”

It is expected the releases will continue until weather conditions change, or there is increased demand for recycled water.

“Our aim is to maintain our lagoon levels at 80 per cent capacity to ensure that there is sufficient storage for new inflows to the plant in the event of any significant rain events.

“We do anticipate that in coming weeks we will need to also release Class C recycled water to the river as part of our daily controlled release, in order to protect lagoon infrastructure on site and manage the flow of water leaving the plant to the river in a controlled manner.

“This will impact landowners downstream of the plant who draw water for stock and domestic purposes, as a minimum Class B standard is required for these purposes. The EPA has provided guidance for use of water from the Campaspe River under these circumstances.

“The North Central Catchment Management Authority (North Central CMA) and Goulburn-Murray Water have been notified, and we are working with Goulburn-Murray Water to ensure notification to downstream users along the Campaspe River.

“We have also initiated extra water quality monitoring of the discharge and the Campaspe River,” Mr Sheehan said.

Coliban Water is working with the EPA and North Central CMA on licence amendments and initiatives to help improve plant performance and waterway health. Future capital works to help achieve compliance at the Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant are being investigated.

One of these initiatives is the delivery of the Kyneton Offsets project, which is well underway.

“We are working in partnership with the North Central CMA to deliver environmental improvement works along the Campaspe River. This involves improving general waterway health through the removal of willows and subsequent fencing and revegetation along the waterway,” Mr Sheehan said.

In total, 11.4 kilometres of stock fencing, and 13.5 kilometres of weed removal and native revegetation, will be undertaken across 10 properties between Carlsruhe and Kyneton along the Campaspe River.

For further information please contact our Customer Support Team on 1300 363 200 or visit our website –

The EPA provides the following recommendations for the use of water from the Campaspe River:

• Do not drink the river water
• Do not use the river water for any domestic use such as washing, showering, bathing or processing food. This water may be used for the flushing of toilets.
• Do not use the river water for any recreational use, such as filling backyard swimming pools.
• Do not consume any animal, such as fish and crayfish, caught from the Campaspe River.
• Do not use the river 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 an underground drip-feed system.
It may also be used to irrigate trees when produce grow 1 metre above the ground. The produce should not be wet from the water used for irrigation when harvested. Dropped produce must not be harvested.
• Do not use the river water for watering stock when Class C water is discharged. Class B recycled water is the minimum required.
• Do not use the river water as a wash down water for milking machinery when Class C recycled water is discharged. Class B recycled water is the minimum required.
• Restrict public and stock during irrigation periods, and for a period of four 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 five days before pasture use, drying or ensiling of fodder.
• Controls must be in place to ensure pigs are not exposed to this pasture or fodder.




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