Investigation into source of nurdles continues

31 January 2018

Wannon Water is yet to identify the source of the nurdles that were illegally dumped into its Warrnambool Sewage Treatment Plant more than 10 weeks ago.

Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said that despite a rigorous and methodical investigation to date, there was no way of knowing exactly how many nurdles were dumped into the sewerage system and still no outcome.

“We have already inspected a number of sites that could have potentially been the source of the contamination and are continuing to add sites to the list,” Mr Jeffers said.

“Nurdle samples collected from the treatment plant have been sent to two separate laboratories for testing and analysis. We are waiting on the full results of those tests to determine if they contain any information that could help our investigation.”

Wannon Water has cleaned the vast majority of the nurdles out of the plant and put in an additional permanent screen on the outlet to ensure no remaining nurdles can pass through to the ocean. This screen is being cleaned daily and is only capturing small numbers of remnant nurdles.

“Our employees are dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. It is a key focus in all areas of our operations every day. We share the community sentiment and disappointment that this incident occurred in the first place and will continue with clean-up efforts on local beaches for as long as necessary,” Mr Jeffers said.

He called on individuals not to speculate about the potential source of the nurdles that were dumped into the system.

“Speculation about the source and possible applications of the nurdles could undermine our investigation and cause unfair reputational damage to local firms and companies.”

Mr Jeffers acknowledged the original nurdle source may never be found or that enough evidence will be gathered to support legal proceedings.

“However, we are determined to continue our investigations for as long as necessary as part of our efforts to ensure an incident like this never happens again.”