EPA Victoria has fined a Moolap company more than $5,500 after wastewater entered a roadside drain near a primary school.

Reports from the public led EPA officers to inspect B & R Poultry Pty Ltd on 17 March this year.

"Our team found wastewater from a poultry crate washing facility entering an open roadside drain after travelling through a stormwater drain, directly opposite Moolap Primary School,” EPA Southwest Regional Manager Carolyn Francis said.

“They took samples of the discharging wastewater for analysis and found high levels of E. coli – bacteria that indicate the presence of animal droppings - and that can cause a risk to public health,” she said.

EPA had issued the company with a remedial notice requiring it to fix a similar issue in 2022; the failure to maintain good practices has this time it led to a $5,548 fine for unlawful deposit of waste.

The company has since implemented some temporary fixes whilst a longer term solution is put in place.  EPA will continue to monitor compliance

“Leaks and spills entering waterways via stormwater drains is an all-too-common problem, and EPA conducted snap inspections of a number of businesses in the Moolap area less than two weeks ago,” Ms Francis said.

“The General Environmental Duty built into the Environment Protection Act makes it every Victorian’s responsibility to take reasonable actions prevent pollution, and all businesses should take cases like this as a reminder to make sure their own premises cause leaks or spills,” she said.

Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and the Infringements Act 2006, the operator has the right to have the infringement notice reviewed or be considered by a court.

Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24-hour hotline on 1300 372 842 or providing details online at www.epa.vic.gov.au/report-pollution/reporting-pollution


Reviewed 17 May 2023