EPA assessment area
In June 2023, the EPA commenced an investigation into the cause of recurring petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated water seeping out of the embankment at Christmas Cove.
Petroleum hydrocarbons are a group of chemicals typically found in fuels such as kerosene, petrol, diesel and motor oil.
The EPA has received complaints about the seepage, and work undertaken by others to date has not identified the source or sources of the contamination.
The EPA continues to work with the Kangaroo Island Council on the management of this issue.
The geology at Penneshaw is complex. The re-landscaping of the cove, along with underground infrastructure, complicates how the contamination is moving to the point of discharge.
The environmental assessment involved testing existing monitoring wells near the cove. The test results confirmed the groundwater was contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, and as a result, the EPA established the assessment area.
A total of 5 new wells and 6 soil vapour bores were installed within the assessment area and these were sampled in late July 2023.
A report on the findings is currently being prepared and expected to be published in late November 2023.