In January 2011, the EPA doorknocked 63 residential properties and sampled selected residential bores downgradient of the former gasworks on Mead Street, Birkenhead.
The chemical substances analysed included arsenic and cyanide. The results showed that the levels of cyanide in 2 out of 7 residential bores were above the drinking water guideline levels. The EPA sampled an additional residential bore in May 2011, which also had elevated levels of cyanide.
The EPA was advised that the residents primarily use the bore water to irrigate garden areas and do not use it for drinking purposes. From the results, the EPA with advice from SA Health, informed the residents that the bore water at the properties should not be used for drinking, watering fruit or vegetables, and that primary contact (eg showering, skin contact) with the bore water is to be avoided.
Residents have been advised to test their bore water regularly if bores are being used.