Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Water quality study of Whittakers Creek

Media release: 25 May 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has taken samples in the waterbodies downstream of the Brou waste management facility, including at Whittakers Creek, following community concern, and test results show no evidence of leachate.

EPA Director South and West Gary Whytcross said given community concern, the EPA undertook further testing of water and sediment quality in Whittakers Creek and the waterbodies downstream of the waste facility.

“The EPA sampled seven sites downstream from the Brou waste facility and found no evidence of contamination,” Mr Whytcross said.

The samples were tested at the Office of Environment and Heritage laboratories for a comprehensive range of pollutants including hydrocarbons, heavy metals, nutrients, pesticides and herbicides.

The tests confirm:
• Water quality met Australian and New Zealand guidelines for fresh and marine water quality, in line with levels upstream.
• Water quality of a farm dam near the landfill met the national guidelines for stock drinking water standards.
• Sediment quality met the national sediment quality guidelines for hydrocarbons, heavy metals, nutrients, pesticides and herbicides.

“This means that the water quality is suitable for activities including swimming, the production of aquatic foods for human consumption and stock drinking water,” Mr Whytcross said.

The EPA’s investigation also found no evidence of leachate from the waste facility in the groundwater.

The groundwater monitoring network for the landfill was developed to take into account the local hydrogeological and groundwater flow conditions. The EPA is satisfied that the current groundwater network is appropriate to detect any pollution of groundwater, should it occur.

Mr Whytcross noted that the EPA is requiring the Eurobodalla Shire Council to refine the monitoring program at the Brou waste management facility. This will include a requirement to test all storm water overflows for a comprehensive range of pollutants and testing of the farm dam.

Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 25 May 2017