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Environment Protection Authority

Water Run-off From Leewood Water Treatment Facility in Narrabi Cleaned Up

Media release: 5 January 2016

Minor storm water run-off from Leewood Water Treatment Facility (LWTF) near Narrabi, which was reported to the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Environment Line on Monday 4 January 2015, has been cleaned up and the water taken away for legal disposal by a licensed waste company.

The run-off occurred after recent rain when surface water left the Santos-run site and pooled on a small area at the southern boundary of the property. Photographs provided to the EPA by the complainant showed the water contained sediment and traces of the polymer spray used for dust suppression on the internal roads of the property.

Gary Davey, Director of the EPA’s North Branch, said that there are no apparent environmental or health risks from the run-off and that the EPA would investigate to ensure that the facility had adequate erosion controls.

“The water run-off from Leewood Water Treatment Facility was minor and removed quickly. Santos is in contact with the complainant and has commenced works on site to ensure that further storm water discharges do not occur off the premises. The EPA appreciates the quick response by Santos to this issue.”

Santos is required to submit an incident report to the EPA by Friday 8 January 2016 and has also been requested to provide its Sediment and Erosion Control Plan to the EPA for review.

“The EPA expects licensee’s to comply with their licence at all times. Once the incident report and Sediment and Erosion Control Plan have been reviewed and the current on-site erosion control works have been completed, the EPA will inspect the site to assess the adequacy of the control measures. Decisions on any further regulatory action will be taken at that time,” Mr Davey said.

Good sediment and erosion controls are important to ensure that the environment and community are protected. If sediment laden waters leave a site and enter watercourses, this can have a major impact on aquatic organisms. The EPA understands that the closest water course to Leewood Water Treatment Facility is over one kilometre away.

Santos recently began construction of Leewood Phase 2. The activity is covered by Santos’ Environment Protection Licence (20350) which is publicly available on the EPA’s website.

The EPA encourages anyone who sees a pollution incident to contact the Environment Line on 131 555.

Ends

Contact: Laura Brice

Page last updated: 05 January 2016