CAMPASPE Shire Council is actively working with authorities to address an oil spill into the Murray River at Riverboat Dock, Echuca, which occurred earlier this week.
Mayor Adrian Weston said after being informed by a houseboat company of the spill, council staff investigated and immediately worked to stem and isolate further oil going into the river.
“The Environment Protection Authority (EPA), NSW Roads & Maritime (RMS), Country Fire Authority (CFA) and NSW Fire & Rescue were all notified of the spill, attended Riverboat Dock and prepared an action plan to retain and remove the oil that was in the river,” he said.
Actions were taken to minimise the spread of the oil in the river, including containment of water and investigating where the oil was coming from. A waste disposal contractor was called in to remove the oil from the river and drainage system.
“Staff investigations have since revealed maintenance works by an external contractor to council’s steam display at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre is likely to have created the spill,” Cr Weston said.
“In draining water from the boiler into the display’s drainage pit, material including oil was forced into the drainage system.”
EPA and RMS were immediately notified that council had identified the potential source and isolated the area.
“A licenced plumber, council and the EPA are now working on design changes to the system to ensure an incident of this nature cannot be repeated,” the Mayor said.
“The Discovery Centre steam display is off-line for repair works for the next two weeks and will not be re-started until council and the EPA are confident appropriate measures to ensure an incident of this nature cannot happen again.”
While council has identified the steam display as the potential source, the EPA has taken tests of the oil material to confirm this.