Category Archives: Water analysis – Non-biological contamination

Focus on Queensland news.
Recycled water analysis, contamination by non-biological agents (eg, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, disinfection by-products, endocrine disrupters, environmental nutrients.
Journal articles have a broader geographic scope.

Pump crews work at abandoned silver mine to keep toxic spill out of Murray-Darling Basin

ABC News Mark Willacy 25 August 2016

Queensland Government officials have taken emergency action to stop massive mine storage ponds on the Queensland-New South Wales border discharging heavy metals into the Murray-Darling system, the ABC can reveal.
Heavy rainfall this week threatened to trigger a spill of the processing ponds and dams at the Texas silver mine in southern Queensland.
The mine’s storage sites hold about 240 million litres of by-products such as copper, aluminium, iron, manganese, zinc and nickel.
Queensland’s Environment Department is managing the site after its former owners went broke and abandoned the mine last year.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-25/emergency-action-taken-to-prevent-texas-heavy-metal-discharge/7784224

Dozens of airports across Australia being monitored for toxic foam contamination

ABC News 24 August 2016

Investigations are continuing into the impact of toxic firefighting chemicals at 36 airports across the country, Airservices Australia says.

The aviation services agency confirmed the airports, including Brisbane, Rockhampton, Mackay, Maroochydore, Townsville and Cairns, have sites with traces of the foam, which contains the chemicals PFOS and PFOA.

The foam was also used on grounds at the Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports.

As part of its submission to a Senate inquiry looking into land and groundwater contamination from the foam at Oakey Army Aviation Centre on Queensland’s Darling Downs, the agency revealed the foam was used from the 1980s to 2003.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-24/36-airports-across-aust-monitored-toxic-foam-contamination/7779616

Defence Department refusing to release results of possible contamination at RAAF Base Townsville

Townsville Bulletin RACHEL RILEY August 17, 2016

THE Defence Department is refusing to release the results of a draft report into whether toxic firefighting foam has contaminated groundwater at RAAF Base Townsville.
This is despite a preliminary water sampling investigation ending last month.
Read more: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/defence-department-refusing-to-release-results-of-possible-contamination-at-raaf-base-townsville/news-story/8d7d15c0a0f89a0dac8f46e7d6bc21d2

Fears for kids using airport pond Townsville Bulletin RACHEL RILEY August 18, 2016 

A GARBUTT resident fears children have been exposed to chemicals after playing in a pond near the Townsville Airport that could have be contaminated by toxic firefighting foam run off.
The resident, who did not wish to be named, said the pond was near the boundary of the civilian airport near John Melton Black Drive and runs into Mundy Creek after heavy rain.
The man said he had contacted Townsville City Council and the Department of Environment in relation to his concerns and to request tests be conducted after seeing children swimming and people fishing in the pond.

Read more: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/fears-for-kids-using-airport-pond/news-story/83fc1de020db5eb74ed7f858e0cf96fc

 

Erin Brockovich warns about potential cases of chemical contamination in Australian water supply

News.com.au Rebecca Sullivan August 17, 2016

ENVIRONMENTAL activist Erin Brockovich isn’t shocked easily.
The woman made famous by Julia Roberts’ Oscar-winning performance in the 2000 film about water contamination in Hinkley, California, deals with catastrophe everyday.
Since she famously won that $US333 million lawsuit in 1993 against energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Brockovich, 56, has devoted her time and public profile to similar class action cases around the world.
(She’s the president of her own law firm, consults for another firm in New York and has worked with Australia’s Shine Lawyers since 2008).
There are hundreds of “Hinkleys” — towns where the groundwater is contaminated with dangerous levels of toxic chemicals — all over the globe, including more than 30 in Australia, Brockovich says.
She’s currently in Australia to lend her celebrity power to our own environmental disaster in Oakey, Queensland.
Oakey residents, like those in Williamtown, NSW, have been informed that toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam at a nearby defence force base have infected their local water supply.
The two chemicals used — PFOS and PFOA — are deadly.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/erin-brockovich-warns-about-potential-cases-of-chemical-contamination-in-australian-water-supply/news-story/090f45234c3a05bdd39847b81643e540

Defence Department refusing to release results of possible contamination at RAAF Base Townsville

Townsville Bulletin | Rachel Riley 17 August 2016

THE Defence Department is refusing to release the results of a draft report into whether toxic firefighting foam has contaminated groundwater at RAAF Base Townsville.

This is despite a preliminary water sampling investigation ending last month.

Frustrated ex-Royal Australian Air Force fireman Pat Mildren has labelled Defence’s decision to keep the results under wraps as “mind games”.

Read at source: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/defence-department-refusing-to-release-results-of-possible-contamination-at-raaf-base-townsville/news-story/8d7d15c0a0f89a0dac8f46e7d6bc21d2

Mine run-off will “improve Mary River” says New Hope Coal

Daily Mercury 15 August 2016

WATER released into the Mary River from mine will improve the river’s water, the mining company has told a court.

The proposed open-cut Colton coal mine is facing a legal challenge in the Queensland Land Court in Brisbane.

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/fraser-coasts-new-hope-coal-project-heads-court/3076892/

Information down the drain

The Australian, Research [Supplement] Jochen Mueller 12 August 2016, page 19

When Australia’s national census was taken on August 9, Jochen Mueller and his team of biochemists were taking a different picture of the population – by looking at its sewage.

Request a copy of the article (QH Staff only)