Dead Eel following greywater spill at Myles Dunphy Reserve

Dead 40 cm Long-finned Eel (Anguilla reinhardtii) was found in shallow water downstream from Mulga Rd pond. As our Streamwatch Coordinator from the Australian Museum puts it, “it takes a lot to kill an eel”. The Eel appears to have been dead for 1-2 days, and its eyes have gone white. This suggests the possibility of another grey water spill occurring at the end of last week when no volunteers were working in the Reserve.


FLow on13/8/2013  Streamwatch member reported to Sydney Water & Hurstville Council that on   Tuesday 13/08/2013 morning there was a sudden spill of grey water containing detergent into the one of the stormwater pipes at the northern end of Myles Dunphy Reserve (cnr Mulga Road and River Rd). It lasted from about 9:50 to 10:10 am. It involved the relatively rapid release of several thousand litres of grey water over a short period of time


detergent suds 13/ 8/2013

20/08/13 – Sydney Water, informed streamwatch member that:

1. Judging by the strong initial flow and the way in which it declined to nothing over a short period of time, the flow went directly into the stormwater system from a location probably within 100 m of the Reserve and certainly within 200 m of the Reserve. If it flowed overland into the system or went directly into the system from farther away, the flow would have been more attenuated, with a more gradual peak and flow persisting over a longer time.

2. There are two possibilities- either someone dumped grey water from a vehicle into a street gully or the water was released from a property with a direct connection to the stormwater system. Only a minority of properties have these. In the case of stormwater systems owned by Sydney Water, Enrico has had a fair bit of success in tracing these types of spills back to source, as there are usually only a limited number of potential sources. However, the stormwater pipes in the Hurstville LGA are owned by Council.

While the spill was in progress, member checked the street gullies in Mulga Road and Waratah Street and found them dry, so the discharge probably came from a direct connection to the stormwater system.

Streamwatch testing on 27/08/2013 saw  very clear water at Mulga Rd with a strong flow . Given there has been no recent rain it might be an attempt to clean out the system by flushing fresh water.

No water from top pipes on testing dateSampling clear water Very clear fresh water on 27/8/2013



Degrees C







Site1: Mulga Rd

Time : 10.15








Site 2: Kogarah  Shops

Time : 10.30










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