A KYNETON farmer is concerned about possible contamination to his property, which sits near a site that could be irrigated by treated industrial waste water.
The site is owned by Harwick's Meatworks, which discharges about 550 kilolitres of waste water a day.
Hardwicks Kyneton managing director Luke Hardwick said the business saw the irrigator as a solution to the problem of high volumes of trade waste water, with which Kyneton's water treatment plant struggled to cope.
The irrigator has been built but is not yet in use.
Environmental guidelines state people should avoid drinking, washing in, watering stock, processing food or washing down milking machinery with this water.
Dry conditions mean the Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant is already struggling to accommodate the volume of waste water it receives.
Low streamflows in the Campaspe have left managing agency Coliban Water unable to discharge enough treated domestic waste water - a higher grade of water - to contain treated industrial waste water on site.
Coliban Water began to release the treated industrial waste water, known as Class C water, into the Campaspe River on June 6, a violation of the requirements of its licence.
It had already sought an emergency exemption from its requirements to allow it to discharge treated domestic water - Class B water - at a lower level of dilution than required.
Farmer Murray Bajada said he was concerned that "dirty" water could contaminate his dam and grass.
Mr Bajada said his property adjoined the site of the irrigator.
He said his bore water supply was quite close to the pivot irrigator, which worried him. He was also worried there would not be enough setbacks on the site to protect him and his property from being sprayed by the Class C water should the wind change.
"We're not happy with it, Class C water is pretty dirty still, it carries a lot of pathogens," Mr Bajada said.
"Everyone has concerns. So people on the boundaries of the four boundaries have a concern with the Class C irrigator."
Mr Bajada said he was stuck between a "putrid" Snipes Creek at the back of his property, and the pivot irrigator next door. It has left him short of options to feed his cattle.
Hardwicks Kyneton representative Mr Hardwick said the irrigator was a solution to accommodate a greater volume of waste water during increasingly frequent dry periods.
Mr Hardwick said there were tight guidelines that would have to be approved by the Environment Protection Authority to make sure appropriate controls were in place to prevent contamination.
He said Hardwicks Kyneton would store its waste water on site over winter to use for irrigation in the summer months. The site of the irrigated land would be used to produce livestock fodder.
In its first stage the irrigator would release 100 megalitres of treated Class C water a year, Mr Hardwick said.
"Kyneton needs solutions to deal with the excess volume Coliban has," he said.
"I imagine that the ultimate plan would be that Coliban in time doesn't have to discharge to the river.
"At the moment there's already irrigation with Coliban in the town, with the botanical gardens, the racecourse and the sports ground, and I would say they've been success stories."
Coliban Water said it worked with all major trade waste customers to help them manage discharges to water reclamation plans.
A representative said treated water would not be supplied to Hardwicks Kyneton site until it received authority approval.
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