First Published in 1997

One of the most troubling ramifications of the logging operations has been the destruction of the water supply to Apollo Bay, causing 1,000 residents and up to 200,000 tourists to buy imported bottled water.

Following the logging of the West Barham - the water catchment for Apollo Bay - water quality dropped from "crystal clear" to undrinkable, according to Judi Forrester of the Otway Herb Nursery.

"Apollo Bay has excellent water up intil the late '70s when clearfalling was commenced. By the time it was brought to a halt in 1986, approximately half of the catchment had been subject to clearfalling and there was a radical effect on the water quality, becoming muddy and with high e. coli levels," Ms Forrester said.

"They've had to introduce expensive treatment processes, water rates went up to cover the costs and the town water is now considered undrinkable," Ms Forrester said.

"So instead of drinking natural clear mountain spring water, it's like drinking from a chlorinated swimming pool," Ken Forrester added.

He said that apart from the daily impact on the 1,000 permanent residents of Apollo Bay, up to 30,000 visitors come to Apollo Bay in summer and more than 200,000 in a full year - "and they have to buy water in bottles from Europe".

See the previous stories: War in the Woods and Ready for War

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