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Environment Protection Authority

Low concentrations of PFOS/PFOA detected at Raymond Terrace STP

Media release: 19 February 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has received a report from Hunter Water Corporation (HWC) that low concentrations of PFOS and PFOA were detected at its sewage treatment plant (STP) in Raymond Terrace.

EPA Manager - Hunter, Adam Gilligan, said investigations had identified that both contaminants were being discharged into HWC’s sewer network via Newcastle Airport Pty Limited (NAPL), and that all agencies were working together to implement measures to prevent PFOS / PFOA entering the sewage system.

“HWC commenced testing for PFOS/ PFOA at the Raymond Terrace STP after NAPL connected to the sewer system in December 2015. Prior to that NAPL discharged its sewage to the RAAF’s private STP at Williamtown.

“Hunter Water became aware of a detection of PFOS at a very low concentration at the Raymond Terrace STP on 27 January and immediately notified the EPA.

“Both HWC and NAPL have been diligent in their investigations, notifications and liaisons with other agencies, including NSW Health and the Department of Primary Industry.

“NAPL expects to present to HWC later today its plan for preventing further PFOS/ PFOA from entering the sewer network and ultimately the Raymond Terrace STP.”

Mr Gilligan said it was important to understand that the levels of PFOS detected were below guidelines for drinking water, recreational users and the ecosystem.

“The EPA has requested that HWC continue to test the Raymond Terrace STP for PFOS/ PFOA, to gain a better understanding of the levels present and the potential impacts,” he said.

Ongoing testing of biota in the Hunter River is continuing with restrictions remaining in place for fishing. 

For further information about PFOS/ PFOA contamination in the Williamtown area visit the EPA’s website:  http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/MediaInformation/williamtown.htm

 

 

Contact: EPA Public Affairs Unit

Page last updated: 19 February 2016