Date of offence
Between 16 Mar 2010 and 31 Mar 2010
Type of offence

Cause or permit an environmental hazard, at Toolern Creek, Melton between 16.03.2010 and 31.03.10, contrary to s.27A(1)(c).

Discharge sewage into waterway so that the waters are poisonous, harmful or potentially harmful, at Toolern Creek, Melton between 16.03.10 and 31.03.10, contrary to s.39(1)

Background of offense
On 31 March 2010, Western Region Water Corporation  identified untreated sewerage overflowing from its Tullidge Street Sewer Pump Station into Toolern Creek in Melton. The overflow commenced on 16 March 2010 and continued unnoticed until 31 March 2010 due to a malfunction of the automatic dialling equipment. Samples collected from the creek indicated that there was an impact on water quality. Western Region Water Corporation estimated that 6ML of sewage was lost, consisting of approximately 2ML of untreated sewage and 4ML of tertiary treated sewage.
Remedial action taken by EPA
Western Region Water Corporation undertook a clean up.
Date of court hearing
25 April 2011
Court magistrate
Not applicable
Court location
Not applicable
Reasons for prosecution
In accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy EPA was satisfied that an enforceable undertaking was an appropriate sanction because Western Region Water Corporation took active responsibility for the offence and the sanction achieved a more effective and long term environmental outcome than prosecution.

Court orders made

On 25 April 2011, the Authority accepted Western Region Water Corporation (Western Water), proposal of an Enforceable Undertaking following the discharge of sewerage into Toolern Creek, Melton.

Under the terms of the Enforceable Undertaking, Western Water commits to:

  1. Audit Sewer Asset Management Plans against industry best practice.
  2. Incorporate industry best practice standards into design of sewer pump stations, develop a checklist for maintenance and a methodology for challenge testing automatic alarm systems associated with sewer pump stations.
  3. Finalise sewer spill prevention strategy which will outline actions to minimise sewer spills from the Corporation’s assets.
  4. Implement site specific measures, such as installation of a second independent alarm system at the Tullidge Street Sewer Pump Station, installation of a second independent alarm system across all relevant pump stations, and updating all existing Auto Dialler Alarm Interface with capability of providing alert of battery failures.
  5. Disseminate learnings to other water corporations and consult with the community on the undertaking and Western Water’s asset management and planning practices for consideration in improving operational and design guidelines.
  6. Provide funding of up to $20,000 to an environmental rehabilitation project, along with Friends of Toolern Creek.

Western Water must engage an Auditor (to be approved by EPA) to examine the content of the Enforceable Undertaking and review the company’s compliance with its terms.  The Auditor must provide written assurance to the Authority that it has been successfully implemented.

Western Water has estimated the cost of compliance with the Enforceable Undertaking to be approximately $200,000.  Western Water will provide the Authority with a detailed costing of compliance expenditure upon completion of the Undertaking.

The terms of the Enforceable Undertaking must be completed, with audit verification, within 30 months of the Enforceable Undertaking’s having been signed and accepted by the Authority.

Reviewed 13 March 2020