Glenn Brown has been forced to dump more than 60,000 litres from his home water tanks which have been fouled by the milk powder which coated the roof of his Will Street home.
TWO weeks after an unknown quantity of dried milk powder was accidentally released from Burra Foods’ factory in Korumburra, the company is still cleaning up the mess.
A wide area of the town was affected by the spill but you didn’t have to go far to experience the fallout for yourself this week.
You could smell the stink of off-milk as soon as you drove up Glenn and Samantha Brown’s driveway, in Will Street yesterday, as a pressure cleaning firm went about the task of washing down the roof of couple’s home.
“Come over here and stick your head in the water tank and take a whiff, if you haven’t got a weak stomach,” said Glenn to the ‘Sentinel-Times’ reporter.
“Phew, it stinks,” was the spontaneous reply.
A milky film has gathered around the edge of the water at the top of the tank and you can see a white discolouration right through the water.
“If they’d notified us straight away, I could have turned the inlet pipe away and we could have minimised the problem.
“Look, I don’t want to be seen to be dumping on Burra Foods. They’ve been fantastic since it happened. I couldn’t fault them on what they have offered to do for us but it shouldn’t have happened,” he said.
“We had to put up with this in 2011 when they first commissioned the spray dryer but they were supposed to have put a fail-safe system in place so this couldn’t happen.
“I was pretty annoyed when it happened and we’ve now been living with this for two weeks.
“You can’t cook with it, you can’t brush your teeth with it, you can’t even wash your hands with it. And you want to try having a shower in it. It smells even worse when it goes through the hot water system.
“The only reason I got you down here was so that people could realise that it wasn’t a minor incident.
“They’ve had to bring water for the horses, pressure clean our roofs, clean out the tank and replace the water. And they’ve sent two of our cars away to be detailed.”
That’s another sore point for some of the townsfolk with that detailing work allegedly being done in Leongatha.
“The bloke said he couldn’t get it off by washing. He actually had to cut and polish the cars,” Mr Brown said.
“I don’t want to be seen as coming down too hard on Burra Foods but this is what we’ve got to deal with.”
The issue of the milk powder spill has been put into sharp focus by the independent planning panel hearing, to go ahead on December 3 and 4 at Coal Creek, about Burra Foods’ application for a 600 metre to 900 metre control buffer zone around the plant.
Locals fear that the spill could make it even more likely that the Environmental Significance Overlay will be approved.