Gippsland Water is releasing treated wastewater into the Latrobe River at Willow Grove after receiving approval from the Environment Protection Authority.
Treated wastewater at Willow Grove’s wastewater treatment plant is usually stored over winter and re-used for irrigation on private property during drier periods. However, increased inflows over the last three months during a period of no irrigation have resulted in the treated wastewater storages reaching their capacity.
Paul Clark, Gippsland Water General Manager Customer Service and Communications, said the Environment Protection Authority has approved a total of 17 million litres to be discharged to the Latrobe River from the wastewater treatment plant as required over the next three months.
“Gippsland Water will frequently sample the water upstream and downstream of the discharge point on the Latrobe River to determine the impact on water quality,” Mr Clark said.
“Given the dilution of the water being discharged and past experience with similar discharges, we expect the impact on the water quality of the Latrobe River to be minimal,” he continued.
“If the monitoring program determines that the Latrobe River’s water quality has been negatively impacted by the treated wastewater, Gippsland Water will immediately cease the discharge program,” Mr Clark concluded.
The corporation, in conjunction with Southern Rural Water, will notify irrigators downstream of the discharge point and keep them informed of the process.
For more information see the Gippsland Water website.