Gippsland Water (VIC) will begin a temporary release of untreated trade waste from the Gippsland Water Factory treatment facility to the Regional Outfall System (ROS).

“Following a planned shut for maintenance, Australian Paper has experienced short term fluctuations in its trade waste output which has placed pressure on the treatment facility at the Gippsland Water Factory,” said Peter Skeels from Gippsland Water.

The release of backlogged trade waste volumes was expected to be for only a short period before normal waste treatment processes from the Maryvale mill would resume.

“Gippsland Water and Australian Paper met to discuss how we could work together to quickly return processes back to normal and minimise the potential increase in odour from the Regional Outfall System.

“We have a strong working relationship with the team at Australian Paper which makes responding to issues such as this relatively straight forward.”

Mr Skeels said there was a small chance the unscheduled release of untreated trade wastewater may be briefly noticeable to residents in the Wellington Shire who directly lived or travelled near the Regional Outfall System.

“As a result of the temporary redirection, residents may notice a slight odour along the open channel however, it will not return to the pre-Gippsland Water Factory levels,” he said.

Craig Dunn from Australian Paper also confirmed that, “We are working with Gippsland Water to quickly return to normal operating conditions and are diverting streams and lowering flows at the moment to recover the situation as efficiently as possible.”

“Gippsland Water and Australian Paper have already discussed how we might proactively anticipate any future potential disruptions for improved process outcomes,” Mr Dunn said.

Mr Skeels confirmed that there will be no impact on the treatment of domestic waste while the trade waste situation is addressed. “Gippsland Water appreciates the community’s patience and understanding as we work to rectify this situation, which is expected to be fully resolved by mid next week,” he said.

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