The EPA commenced environmental assessment in Ethelton in December 2020.
The purpose of the assessment is to investigate groundwater contamination associated with a former dry cleaner previously located on Marion Street, Ethelton.
Groundwater and soil vapour testing results indicate there is no health risk from vapour intrusion posed by chlorinated hydrocarbons and indoor air quality is not affected.
The most recent Stage 2S seasonal assessment undertaken in May 2023 shows that the extent of groundwater contamination has significantly reduced. The remaining contamination is now limited to an isolated portion of the assessment area in the vicinity of Marion Street and Deslandes Street.
Residents located within the assessment area were previously advised not to use their groundwater for any purpose. This advice has been updated based on the latest results and residents are now advised to have their bore water tested including for chlorinated hydrocarbons, to find out if it is fit for purpose prior to any use. Mains and rain water are not affected.
Chemicals of concern
Perchloroethene (PCE, also known as tetrachloroethene) is a chemical widely used in dry cleaning and was found to be present in groundwater at the former dry cleaner site in Ethelton. Trichloroethene (TCE) and dichloroethene (DCE) are also present in groundwater likely as the result of the degradation of PCE.
For more information on the contaminants, please visit the SA Health website.
The chemical substances found to be present in groundwater at Ethelton (including TCE and PCE) have the potential to change from liquid to gas (volatilise) and move through the soil as vapour. It is then possible for this vapour to migrate and build up in underground spaces such as cellars and basements, as well as move into the indoor air of overlying buildings. This is commonly known as vapour intrusion.
Measurement of the soil vapour in the assessment area indicates there is no vapour intrusion risk for residences, including those with small cellars. Any owners with large, habitable basements should contact EPA for further advice regarding vapour intrusion risk.
Selling or buying
The EPA is obligated under the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Regulations 2010 to flag an interest in all certificates of title for properties within an EPA Assessment Area where an environmental assessment report has been prepared. This property interest will result in a positive response on the Form 1 prepared during the sale of a property and ensures that future potential purchasers are aware that an environmental assessment has been undertaken.
This means a prospective purchaser considering purchasing a property located within the Ethelton EPA Assessment Area, will now observe a YES response to Question 4(c) in the EPA Statement to Form 1.
In addition to this YES response, a note will be included to refer the potential purchaser to the EPA website to obtain information in relation to this assessment area.
Should you have further questions regarding the environmental assessment or how this relates to a specific property, please contact the EPA for tailored advice.