Thirteen large koi and goldfish swum happily in a manmade pond at the back of Peter and Susan Greenwood’s Korumburra home until last week, when Peter refilled the pond with tap water supplied by the Lance Creek Water Treatment Plant.

By Kirra Grimes

A KORUMBURRA couple have been left “heartbroken” after chloraminated water from the newly completed Lance Creek pipeline killed their 13 pet fish.
Peter and Susan Greenwood woke up last Monday morning (December 10) to find the dead koi and goldfish floating on the surface of their outdoor fish pond, and a “horrendous” chemical odour in the air.
Shocked and at a loss to explain the deaths of the well cared for fish, Peter and Susan could only attribute the cause to the tap water Peter had used the day before to refill the pond after cleaning it, as he’d done at least five times since moving into the Mine Road residence 18 months ago.
Upon contacting their water supplier, South Gippsland Water, the Greenwoods’ suspicions were confirmed, with the corporation informing the couple of the need to condition tap water before use in an aquarium, due to the recent addition of the disinfectant chloramine to the town water supply as a result of Korumburra’s connection to the Lance Creek Water Treatment Plant.
Still in disbelief over the deaths, Peter and Susan said on Friday they had been “totally unaware” of the extra steps required to make tap water safe for use in aquariums, and that the deaths could have been prevented “if only [they’d] known”.
“We feel awful,” said Susan.
“People say ‘oh they’re only fish’ but they were beautiful fish and we’d promised their previous owner we’d look after them. We inherited the pond and the fish when we bought the house and we thought of ourselves as their custodians, so if only we’d known, we would’ve taken precautions,” she said.
“I feel particularly bad because it was me that inflicted it,” said Peter.
“And when we found them, their mouths were wide open, like they’d been gasping for breath. It looked like they’d died a horrible death.”
The Greenwoods hope their story will serve as a compelling warning to others to take the dangers of chloraminated water seriously.
“I just hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said Susan.

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