Samples of water from Dandenong Creek are undergoing scientific testing, as part of an Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) investigation into foam and large numbers of dead fish and eels found in the creek.
EPA Southern Metro Region Manager Marleen Mathias said the test results should be complete and ready for scientific analysis within the next few days.
“EPA officers responded to reports from the public on Melbourne Cup Day and found patches of white foam in the creek, north of the Mountain Highway Golf Range at Heathmont,” Ms Mathias said.
“The foam had begun to break up and disperse downstream, and there was no additional foam entering the creek, so it wasn’t possible to determine the source,” she said.
Two EPA officers returned on the following Saturday, taking samples from various locations along the creek and noting the presence of dead fish and eels along a 900 metre stretch of the creek.
EPA posted an alert on the Yarra and Bay website (www.yarraandbay.vic.gov.au/alerts) advising that the public should avoid contact with the foam.
“With the foam moving downstream, EPA continued to receive calls from the public,” Ms Mathias said.
“Dandenong Creek is surrounded by the residential areas of Heathmont and Wantirna and an industrial estate, so it is a regular source of pollution reports to EPA,” she said.
“With so many sources of urban storm water along the creek, EPA has been supporting Melbourne Water in pollution prevention and detection work in the area, including conducting inspections of possible industrial sources.”
“We also urge residents of the area to remember that anything that enters storm water drains will wind up in the creek, so even simple actions like never washing your car out in the street can help to protect the creek environment,” Ms Mathias said.
EPA’s scientific investigation is looking into possible sources of the foam and possible causes of the fish kill.
“The testing of the water samples taken from the Creek on Cup Day and afterwards may give us some useful information, including pointers to whether the foam and the fish kill are directly connected,” Ms Mathias said.
EPA encourages members of the public to report pollution by calling 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or via the website www.epa.vic.gov.au