Water used to bring under control a fire at SKM’s recycling plant in Coolaroo has impacted on local waterways and caused fish deaths at Jack Roper Reserve Lake.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) sampling of Merlynston Creek and Jack Roper Reserve Lake has found extremely low levels of dissolved oxygen that would not support aquatic life such as fish and insects.
In addition, high levels of E. coli have been found, which indicates the presence of microorganisms that may cause illness.
Hume City Council has put up signage advising that members of the public and their pets should avoid waterways. The public should also avoid fishing and any other recreational activity at the lake or creek until further notice.
Significant efforts by EPA, local council and water corporations were made to prevent water from leaving the site of the fire, but it was not possible to contain all of it.
With the fire now extinguished, no further water is being applied at the site and runoff from the site has ceased.
Officers from EPA and Melbourne Water will continue to monitor water quality at the creek and the Jack Roper Reserve Lake.
EPA will continue to require SKM to appropriately manage water and waste onsite throughout the recovery and clean-up phase over the coming months.
Anyone concerned about their health should contact their local doctor or NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24.