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Wet weather results in releases at Newmerella

East Gippsland Water

Media Release issued: 24 October 2022

Update: The Newmerella recycled water release ceased on 13 December, 2022

Ongoing wet conditions have continued to impact wastewater storages, with East Gippsland Water preparing for a necessary controlled release of recycled water at Newmerella – commencing on Wednesday, 2 November.

Significant rainfall through winter has resulted in the organisation’s on-site recycled water storages reaching capacity, with the Bureau of Meteorology also declaring our current La Nina
status for the third consecutive year.

About 80 megalitres of treated wastewater currently held on the Newmerella wastewater treatment site will be slowly released in a controlled manner through 3km of adjacent farmland, prior to undergoing significant dilution in Lake Corringle into the Snowy River and
exiting at the Marlo estuary. This is the first controlled release that has ever needed to be undertaken from the Newmerella site.


East Gippsland Water’s Executive Manager Service Delivery, Neville Pearce, said after years of drought, the wet conditions were welcome news for the organisation’s water supply, however they created problems for the wastewater system.

“While consistent rain filling up our water storages is welcome news for water supply, in preparation for the coming warmer months, the opposite is true when it comes to wastewater,” he said.

“The recycled water water is treated to a standard ordinarily used to irrigate pasture in Orbost.”

“However, the past 18 months of exceptionally wet weather has meant irrigation has been impossible due to already saturated ground.

“The excess water is too much for our wastewater storages, with releases needed to prevent uncontrolled overflow into the environment.”

Mr Pearce said there had been misconceptions around the quality of the water released.

“The water has already been through a considerable treatment process, it’s not raw
wastewater,” he said.

“Our staff will continually monitor and test the water during the release to ensure a consistent quality to prevent environmental impacts.”

East Gippsland Water is currently notifying adjacent residents, stakeholders and agencies about the imminent release and, as a precaution, warning signage is being erected in the immediate area.

For further information, please contact East Gippsland Water on 1800 671 841.