EPA assessment area
The EPA is undertaking environmental works in Thebarton where contaminated groundwater has been identified.
The first site, located on George Street, is likely to be one of multiple sources and was previously a metal processing site. Significant groundwater contamination (trichloroethene, TCE) has been found in the vicinity of this site. TCE contamination in groundwater has also been identified at a second site located on Smith Street, however the EPA does not consider the Smith Street site to be a source. It is therefore undertaking further investigative works.
The groundwater contamination is believed to be associated with past industrial practices that used a chemical trichloroethene (TCE). This is likely to have occurred as a result of historical chemical disposal and handling that was considered appropriate many decades ago but is no longer acceptable by today’s standards. The EPA is undertaking works in the Thebarton assessment area to ensure that the legacy of past industrial practices does not pose a risk to residents living there today.
It has long been understood that volatile chemicals can be transported in groundwater. More recently it has been discovered that they can also be found in the air spaces between soil particles as vapour.
In order to determine whether soil vapour intrusion is occurring in the Thebarton assessment area, the EPA is undertaking works to gather more data to understand the composition of the soil vapour, and whether any additional assessment works are required.
- Thebarton Stage 1 | Report | Appendices A–D | Appendices E–G | Appendices H–P
- Report on community information session, 23 May 2017
Letters to residents
The EPA has been in contact with property owners in the Thebarton area regarding results of indoor air sampling. This was to identify whether any TCE vapours from the contaminated groundwater had entered their homes.
Three of these properties measured no TCE in indoor air and are considered safe. Five of the properties measured within the 'Intervention' category of the indoor air level response range overleaf, and the EPA and Renewal SA are now working with these residents to design solutions that will reduce the TCE vapour to safe levels.
No residents are being required to move from their homes. Mitigation systems have successfully been installed in homes in other areas of Adelaide with TCE vapour.