Sediment-laden water, which has been pumped from the construction site of a local school, has been spotted flowing into roadside drains and a nearby creek.
A new primary school is currently being constructed at the corner of Lawrence Way and Shepparton Boulevard in Byford and according to Serpentine Jarrahdale shire president Michelle Rich, as part of the development application the school is required to control water inside the property boundary.
However due to servicing works on the verge of Lawrence Way, the school is unable to construct a connection into the local drainage network.
“As a temporary measure the school is de-watering their subsoil system into the roadside swales on Lawrence Way,” Ms Rich said.
“The roadside swales on Lawrence Way infiltrate into the shire-controlled subsoil network so no sand or sediment should migrate to the creek from this exercise.
“The water being discharged should be clean and filtered as it has come out of a filter media and a subsoil pipe.”
Despite these systems being in place, the shire has admitted they are aware of two incidents regarding sediment-laden water making its way into the drainage system and a nearby creek.
The first incident of a sediment plume at the drainage outlet on Lawrence Way was reported to the shire on September 6, while the second incident involving water being discharged from the school site to the wrong location was reported on September 17.
Ms Rich said the contractor has since advised the shire that they have site procedures in place to ensure these incidents don’t happen again and the shire is continuing to monitor the matter to ensure compliance.
Member for Darling Range Alyssa Hayden said she raised the issues with the shire when she was advised by nearby residents and wrote to the appropriate minister to ask for an investigation.
“Byford is rapidly growing and the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale remains the fastest growing local government area in Australia,” she said.
“With this growth comes a responsibility for the shire to ensure all developments are carried out in an environmentally responsible way.”
Sediment-laden water is known to impact natural vegetation from growing in the water, as well as alter the flow of water, clog fish gills and reduce the depth of the water.