Statement on Korumburra incident

Monday, July 24th, 2023

South Gippsland Water continues to engage with the Environment Protection Authority concerning the disruption to the Korumburra Wastewater Treatment Plant in early 2021.

The plant had received an unusual waste discharge into its wastewater treatment which caused it to malfunction. Unfortunately, after much investigation, South Gippsland Water was unable to confirm the exact source of the waste discharge.

Wastewater treatment is largely a natural process, completed by micro bugs. The unusual waste discharge it received seriously impacted these micro bugs and the natural balance of this wastewater treatment process.

On 22 January 2021 South Gippsland Water notified the Environment Protection Authority that the plant upset had caused the discharge of effluent from the wastewater treatment plant outside licence parameters into Foster Creek. The discharge ceased on 17 February.

South Gippsland Water immediately began a process to remove wastewater from the plant to better aerate the remaining water and increase the number of healthy micro bugs, as well as reseed the plant with new bugs.

It took more than 300 truck movements to move eight megalitres of wastewater (the equivalent of four Olympic swimming pools) to minimise the impact on the environment.

South Gippsland Water successfully completed this work and had the plant back online on 24 February 2021.

During the period experts regularly monitored Foster Creek’s water quality downstream from the plant and there was no measurable change to aquatic life in the creek. South Gippsland Water kept neighbouring landholders informed while it worked to bring the plant back online.

Korumburra’s water supply comes from our Lance Creek Reservoir so was in no way affected during this incident.

For further information please call Miranda Schooneveldt on 0429 218 303.