Discovery Centre at the start of river oil spill

August 04, 2017

The oil travelled a significant distance downstream. Photo: submitted

THE oil spill into the Murray River on Monday was likely caused by maintenance works on the steam display at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre.

Campaspe Shire said they are actively working with authorities to address the spill and said an external contractor was undertaking the works.

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 and 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.

‘‘In draining water from the boiler into the display’s drainage pit, material including oil was forced into the drainage system,’’ Cr Weston said.

“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 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.’’

The EPA have taken tests of the oil material to confirm the cause.

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