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River pollution causes a stink

08 May 2019

River pollution causes a stink Image

Local residents have raised concerns about ongoing pollution of the Yarra River.

One Freshwater Place resident provided Southbank Local News with a series of images taken on April 23, which show severe oil spills spreading out over the water.

The resident, who preferred not to be named, alleged that they regularly witnessed oil spills occurring and has records of previous instances. The resident alleged that the spill was the result of regular bilge pumps from the boating operator at the Banana Alley berth next to Queens Bridge.

Officers from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) responded to reports but said they were unable to determine the source of the oil sheen, stating that it was likely to have originated from the nearby Elizabeth St main storm water drain which flows into the Yarra River.

While they were unable to confirm this was the case, EPA regional manager for the metropolitan region, Dan Hunt, said residents and businesses had a shared responsibility to maintain our clean and healthy environment.

“Engine oils from vehicle leaks, car washing or deliberate pouring should not be deposited into the storm water drain system. Engine oils are highly toxic to fish and other aquatic life and affect the amenity of our waterways,” he said.

Parks Victoria also told Southbank Local News that it has dispatched a vessel to investigate the site but said the oil plume had largely dissipated and spread out due to changing tide and river flow conditions.

“It is not uncommon for rainfall (such as the short burst experienced recently) to effectively flush the storm water drains and the roads and the broader environment that leads into them out into the river – which includes oils and other pollutants.”

“This leads to an increased accumulation of litter and pollutants in the Yarra. Contaminants flushed from Elizabeth St are a potential source, given the drain’s close proximity to the plume.”

Southbank residents can report pollution – and any observed point of origin – via the EPA’s website Epa.vic.gov.au or by calling 1300 EPA VIC.

 

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