Creek contaminent

Central Highlands Water is continuing to monitor water quality in Spring Creek and downstream Jim Crow Creek after thousands of litres of untreated sewage spilled from a broken pipe in Shepherds Flat last week.

Bruce Lucas

Bruce Lucas

Subcontractors hired by the Hepburn Shire Council struck the sewerage main at 1.30pm last Thursday on Hepburn Newstead Road while installing road safety barriers, causing 47,000 litres of untreated sewage to spill 60 metres from Spring Creek. 

CHW has since been tasked with informing residents downstream of the site, with the effect of the spill on water quality still unknown. 

The Environmental Protection Authority has also been notified of the incident and is continuing to investigate the cause.  

“Central Highlands Water notified EPA of the incident promptly and has advised the Authority it is continuing to assess potential impacts to Spring Creek and downstream Jim Crow Creek,” EPA North West regional manager Dr Scott Pigdon said in a statement.  “The spill was contained once crews arrived on site and EPA has asked CHW to inform downstream creek users of the incident.”  

The sewer mains have since been repaired and CHW has given the EPA assurance that the main water supply to Daylesford has not been contaminated by the event.  

Hepburn Shire infrastructure general manager Bruce Lucas said council did not give the contractors any advice in regards to digging at the Shepherds Flat site.  

“It is the contractor’s responsibility to identify utility service locations prior to commencing works,” Mr Lucas said.  “Council is always concerned about environmental and pollution issues and in this case yes we worked with the contractor to advise the appropriate authorities ASAP.

“Both Central Highlands Water (CHW) and the the Environmental Protection Authority  (EPA) were promptly advised and precautionary measures taken.”  

  • Continued page 8