Illegal dumping is soaring across central Victoria, Australia, affecting its state forests, nature strips, and now, its reservoirs. Coliban Water has reported that there has been a rise of illegally dumped engine parts and hard rubbish at their catchment storages, causing an environmental safety and hazard.
Manager Community Operations Mick Dunne revealed that there had been an increase of people dumping engine parts over the past year at Lauriston, Upper Coliban and Malmsbury reservoirs, near Kyneton.
They identified the dumped items include engine parts, oil cans, mattresses, child car seats and general household waste. The leaking oil from engine parts is mostly the problem, imposing a pollution threat to reservoirs and waterways.
Although Coliban Water assured that they were able to contain the spill and clean up the oil, the alarming incidents can affect the quality of raw water supplied to the Kyneton, Castlemaine and Bendigo water treatment plants. They also reported that illegal dumping can also have an impact on native plants and animals, and is likely dangerous for the staff cleaning up and a waste of resources.
130,000 residents and multiple industries and business depend on Coliban Water’s catchment storages on the Coliban River for raw water. Plus, the reservoirs are also a popular destination among tourists and guests.
“Our reservoirs are a great place to visit to take in the natural beauty of the surroundings, go fishing or have a picnic or barbecue. Nobody wants the eyesore of dumped rubbish,” Mr. Dunne said in a statement.
Coliban Water was able to identify the culprit from the illegally dumped rubbish at the site last week. Now, they are urging the public and the local community to report any illegal activity of dumping or pollution event on the 24-hour EPA pollution hotline 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842). The public can also communicate via EPA’s Illegal Dumping Intelligence Form at www.epa.vic.gov.au.
The Environment Protection Authority Victoria reports that any activity of dumping of contaminated fill material, tires, manufacturing, construction, and demolition waste is a criminal offense, and can attract a maximum court penalty of $610,700 or seven years imprisonment for an individual, and more than $1.2 million for a corporation.