Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has issued CFA with an official Notice to allow temporary release of treated water from the lake at CFA’s former Fiskville Training Campus.
This will include the operation of the treatment plant, installed as part of plans for ongoing rehabilitation of the site, to remove residual PFAS to a standard that is better than drinking water quality and provides a high level of protection to the ecosystems present.
The treated water will be monitored, reported on and slowly released in a controlled manner into Beremboke Creek.
EPA Regional Manager, South West, Carolyn Francis, says the treatment plant at Fiskville is newly commissioned.
“Because the plant is new, the Minor Works Pollution Abatement Notice we have issued clearly lays out the standards that need to be met, including monitoring and reporting requirements” Ms Francis said.
EPA will be assessing the commissioning report on the new treatment plant prior to any agreement for further discharge as part of the longer term rehabilitation of the site. This may include the controlled discharge of treated water to the creek over a number of years.
EPA acting Chief Environmental Scientist, Dr Roscoe Taylor, says CFA has advised that the treatment process will remove PFAS to ensure the water is at a standard that is safe for human consumption under Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, and is also regarded safe for stock such as cattle and sheep.
“But as the creek is not, and never was intended to be a source of drinking water, EPA advises landholders along Beremboke Creek not to use the water for drinking or domestic purposes,” Dr Taylor said.
CFA has contacted landowners along Beremboke Creek and other stakeholders, to inform them of the water release as part of their planned rehabilitation works at the site.