EPA sets groundwater prohibition for Edwardstown area
The EPA is set to introduce a groundwater prohibition area for Edwardstown following significant testing, assessment and community consultation activities.
The prohibition, which will take effect from 9 January 2018, is the second groundwater prohibition area to be established by the EPA.
Acting Director Regulation, Andrew Pruszinski, said the prohibition has been made following a comprehensive process.
“More than 100 assessment reports were reviewed on seven different source sites of groundwater contamination in parts of Edwardstown and Melrose Park. These source sites have contaminated groundwater at Edwardstown, South Plympton, Plympton Park, Park Holme and Ascot Park and Melrose Park.
“Contamination in groundwater can remain for many decades or longer, is very difficult to treat, and the most effective way to safeguard the community now and for future generations is to ensure the exposure pathway is removed. Any use of bore water has the potential to cause adverse health impacts from known chemicals of concern.
“We have consulted extensively with the Edwardstown community and began comprehensive engagement about the proposed GPA over the past six months. We have also been working with this community for many years as we have undertaken various assessments of ground water contamination.
“The community in Edwardstown and surrounding suburbs been provided with significant information of the site contamination concerns within their area, which are due to historical industrial practices,” Mr Pruszinski said.
The prohibition will mean that property owners with bores will not be able to take groundwater for any purpose depending on where they live. The majority of the area is contaminated in the first Quaternary aquifer (0 to 8 m), however closer to the source sites the prohibition will extend as far as the second (0 to 15 m) and third (0 to 26 m) Quaternary aquifers.
A maximum fine of $8,000 may be issued if groundwater is extracted once the prohibition comes into effect.
Deeper uncontaminated aquifers are exempt from this prohibition. Residents are encouraged to contact the EPA on 1800 729 175 if they are unsure how deep their bore is.
The determination report can be found on the EPA engagement website.