Rusty water fears at Eraring 

ANGLERS at Eraring Power Station’s outlet were stunned yesterday when a mass of rusty water flowed past them into the lake.

Robert Gleghorn, of Cessnock, said it was a ‘‘rude shock’’.

‘‘I want to know what it was,’’ Mr Gleghorn said.

‘‘We eat the fish we catch in here.’’

Eraring executive manager Jeff Hogan said rusty water discharged when the plant put its third unit back into service.

The plant had been shut down for a few weeks for maintenance.

‘‘It was only for five to 10 minutes and it dissipated within half an hour,’’ Mr Hogan said.

‘‘It came out of condensers when we started it because water hadn’t flowed through them for three weeks.’’

Mr Hogan said the release was within the plant’s environmental licence.

‘‘There was no environmental harm, but we’re looking to see if it can be mitigated in future,’’ he said.

The Environmental Protection Authority said about 200 litres of an iron-based substance called ferric chloride was discharged from the outlet.

‘‘The very large dilution of ferric chloride with cooling water would prevent harm to the environment,’’ the spokeswoman said.

Mr Gleghorn said fish were ‘‘biting good’’ before the rusty water flowed past about 9.30am.

‘‘It took about another two hours before we got another bite,’’ he said.

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