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Environment Protection Authority

EPA finds no evidence of produced water leaks into the environment from Santos’ Leewood Water Treatment Facility

Media release: 7 April 2016

An inspection by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) on 11 March 2016 has confirmed that the double-liner pond leak detection system at Santos’ Leewood Water Treatment Facility is working as intended with no evidence of leaks into the environment.

During the inspection, EPA officers found that the secondary liner of Leewood Pond Cell 4 had captured produced water which had activated Santos’ leak detection system. The source of the water appears to be two small defects in the primary liner.

To allow for a thorough assessment of the pond and for the liner to be repaired, Cell 4 has been drained. Produced water in Cell 4 was transferred to the other three cells.

EPA Director North Branch Gary Davey said that Santos must operate Leewood in accordance with strict procedures outlined in its planning approval and its environment protection licence.

“The double liner pond leak detection system at Leewood follows best practice put in place by the NSW Government in 2015. Our enquiries indicate that the pond liners are currently working as designed, with no evidence of produced water reaching the environment.” Mr Davey said.

Mr Davey said that an independent third party consultant has been engaged by Santos to conduct a technical assessment of the pond.

“The EPA will inspect the site and verify the liner has been repaired prior to the produced water being pumped back into the pond,” Mr Davey said.

Link to statement from 15 March 2016

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 07 April 2016