Media Statement: EPA report findings on 2016 Flynn sewer spill
Gippsland Water welcomes the findings of an EPA review that found Gippsland Water appropriately contained and cleaned-up a sewer spill at Flynn on 1 February 2016 and self-reported the incident.
Gippsland Water, Acting Managing Director, Paul Clark said Gippsland Water’s number one priority is to ensure a continuous service to our customers, and to manage our system in an environmentally sound manner meeting or exceeding our community’s expectations.
“In the case of the sewerage spill at Flynn on 1 February 2016 we immediately, upon notification, undertook priority works to stop the leak and clean-up the affected area,” Mr Clark said.
“In addition to this, Gippsland Water reported the spill to the EPA within three hours and subsequently provided a detailed report to the EPA following the incident.
“Gippsland Water was not legally required to notify the EPA or provide an additional detailed report we chose to do this as part of our comprehensive post-incident review.”
Mr Clark said the spill was unfortunate but highlighted that Gippsland Water met all of its regulatory and legal obligations in regard to the clean-up and reporting.
“While we reported within three hours, the guideline asks for 30 minutes which is often difficult to achieve in rural areas due to travel time, and we always do our best to report quickly.
“If there is an occasion where, for example, we have a pipe break or a spill our priority is rectify the situation as quickly as possible in the most environmentally sound way possible,” he said.
“We have 1,700 kilometres of sewer mains throughout our service area, that’s enough sewer pipes to get to Sydney and back, and we have a well-established maintenance program to try to decrease the likelihood of these types of spills.”
Gippsland Water always works within EPA regulations and wherever possible EPA guidelines. We are always looking for ways to improve our systems and processes and will continue to work closely with the EPA to review this spill and learn from it.
Gippsland Water continues to work with the EPA to improve both our systems and communication between the two organisations at the local level.
Read the EPA statement: EPA reviews its response to Gippsland sewer spill incident
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