WASTEWATER GREEN LIGHT: An aerial shot of Kagome’s Echuca plant. The company will now store wastewater offsite
The Riverine Herald
14 May 2018
By Vivienne Duck
PROCESSING giant Kagome has finally come out the other side of a lengthy bid to store its treated wastewater in Echuca.
And despite taking almost a year Campaspe Shire Council said the water will now be stored in the perfect spot.
The council approved the planning permit to pump Kagome’s treated water to a 98.4mL water storage dam on Kelsh Rd and use the water to irrigate the 109ha site.
Council rejected Kagome’s planning proposal to build a dam on the corner of McKenzie and Benson roads, Echuca, in June and Kagome came back with the updated plan in February.
The new plan will pump their water (used for washing vegetables, floating vegetables and cleaning the equipment and factory floor at the food processing facility on Cornelia Creek Rd, Echuca) to a farmer’s dam on Kelsh Rd.
The dam previously formed part of an approved whole farm plan.
Kagome chief executive Jason Fritsch told council on Tuesday night the business is transforming.
‘‘We are transferring from just a tomato processing business into a vegetable processing business,’’ he said.
‘‘It is not about decreasing the tomato processing but adding other types of vegetables to our processes.
‘‘We will need 320mL of treated water this year and we simply need somewhere to put that water.
‘‘Our current dam on Maryann Rd is not sufficient enough.’’
Councillor Vicki Neele said this new application is now in the right location.
‘‘We refused an application a few months ago as it didn’t fit the planning application criteria at the time and we had to listen to those objectors,’’ she said.
‘‘This option seems to be an excellent one.
‘‘The status quo remains much the same but the water is simply going to a different location.’’
Councillor Annie Vickers said council needed to support local business.
‘‘Kagome is increasing production and in doing so is increasing their employment and this is what we should be looking for in our area,’’ she said.
Councillor Neil Pankhurst said this was a good outcome for Kagome and the community.
‘‘I raised some concerns with the previous application not with what they were doing but with the location and they have brought forward a great second application that meets all of the requirements,’’ he said.
The purpose of the dam is to avoid having to put the water into the sewer system.
The water will go through a treatment plant at the Kagome factory to remove solids and improve water quality before being pumped to the dam via the existing pipeline.