Cold water poured on upgrades

By Jessica Micallef

The Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant is set for further upgrades, but a Kyneton resident claims the Campaspe River will still be “exposed to future contamination”.

Coliban Water last week announced phase two plans to double water storage and increase irrigation capacity at the plant so that only high quality water is discharged into the Campaspe River.

Managing director Damian Wells said water capacity at the plant would be increased through a new storage lagoon. Phase two will also deliver the construction of a class C water to class B water treatment plant, with additional water storage of about 200 megalitres.

Class B recycled water can be used for human use. Class C recycled water cannot be used for drinking, food production and filling swimming pools or spas.

Phase one works are currently underway at the plant and include the installation of additional aerators in lagoons to ensure water released from the plant is within the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) licence conditions.

However, resident Sallyanne Craig has slammed the phase two announcement, saying it was “bitterly disappointing in content”.

“Tragically for our sickening waterways, the barest minimum in the tardiest fashion is always the way with Coliban Water,” she said.

“It was a hasty, panicked, repacking of piecemeal, stale news solution and it still leaves the river exposed to future contamination.”

Ms Craig said Coliban Water needed to commit to a “full upgrade” to treat all the “noxious trade waste to class B [water]”.

Mr Wells said the two projects would ensure all treated water is stored at the plant until a legal discharge to the river can occur.

“This will be achieved via the installation of additional lagoon storage and future increased irrigation capacity,” he said.

“In exceptional circumstances where heavy rainfall impacts the lagoons on site, for example a one in 10-year flood event, Coliban Water may need to discharge lagoon water to the river.”

Phase two works are expected to be completed in December 2020.