Concerns have been raised about composting facility regulations in Tasmania after it was found wastewater entered into a Derwent Valley river last week and is being investigated.
On September 23 authorities were made aware 117,000 trout fry, 43 brook trout brood stock and 25 display fish were lost at the Derwent Valley's Salmon Ponds.
Tasmania's Environmental Protection Authority is still investigating the exact cause of the fish deaths, but has noted wastewater from a composting site upstream entered the Plenty River.
A biosolids composting facility is proposed for 91 Blessington Road, St Leonards and the development is before the EPA. The developer has said there are no health risks or runoff possibilities.
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However, residents near the proposed site have concerns about regulations because it is near three waterways - Distillery Creek, St Patricks River and the North Esk River.
Following the incident, a group spokesperson said they hoped regulations of these facilities would be looked at.
"It's what we've been trying to say, since April, is that if mismanagement happens, then it can affect so many people," they said.
"I'd really like to know whether this issue will have any impact or bearing. It has to, because it follows the same process down there, as it proposes here, it's managed, composted and spread by the landowner."
The composting facility, which leaked wastewater in the Plenty River, takes a number of wastes including biosolids from TasWater, liquid waste and paper bio-waste mass.
The proposed facility at St Leonards will take biosolids from TasWater, which is treated sewage, including used water from toilets, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines and showers.
EPA director Wes Ford admitted to media on Thursday there were problems with composting plants from time to time, particularly after heavy rain.
An EPA spokesperson said a decision on whether further regulations would be implemented on facilities after the Plenty River incident would depend on the outcome of the investigation.
The EPA does not monitor waterways around the state, unless concerns are raised, but as part of the investigation has asked for a health survey of the Plenty River to be undertaken.
The Greens are seeking a briefing from the EPA to see if existing regulations are capable of protecting water catchments and farmland from biosolids and industrial pollutants.
Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said no one seemed to be conducting proper compliance checks or monitoring the facilities across the state.
"We don't have the confidence that they are, so that's what we're seeking more feedback on," he said.
"We can't afford to take any risks with our water supplies or environment.
"We share community concern that, at least in Tasmania, some of these issues seem to have largely flown under the radar."
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