Runoff from the recent fire at a recycling plant in Coolaroo has led to the deaths of at least 250 carp and mosquito fish in a downstream lake at Jack Roper Reserve, Broadmeadows. The recycling plant is next to Merlynston Creek, a tributary of Merri Creek. Authorities worked hard to pump out contaminated fire water runoff from the creek. However some of the contamination moved into the lake, and dissolved oxygen levels fell with consequent effects.
Fortunately the levels of dissolved oxygen are now gradually increasing. Warning signs are in place for people to avoid fishing in the creek or lake until further notice. Water quality monitoring is also being conducted further downstream and if needed, additional contaminated more water will be removed.
MCMC continues to be greatly concerned at the impact of serious industrial fires on the waterways of the Merri catchment. There have been six fires in less than two years - six too many! We are hopeful that the recently announced taskforce to investigate the Coolaroo fire will look at stronger and more effective regulatory powers for the EPA and/or Councils. The risk to our waterways from fires at inadequately managed industrial sites is unacceptable. Read about two industrial fires in 2015/16 and impacts on the Merri and the three industrial fires earlier in 2017.