The NSW Environment Protection Authority is continuing its search for other possible sources of PFAS contamination in the waterway at Rutherford, after levels more than 50 times the safe drinking water guidelines were found upstream of the former Truegain site.
The environmental watchdog’s data shows concentrations of the contaminant as high as 4.08 micrograms per litre were found in a stormwater drain about 200m from the former waste oil refinery site in June – 58 times the safe drinking water level and 5.8 times higher than the recommended safe level for recreational use.
The data shows the reading was lower the previous month – 2.81 micrograms per litre – and dropped slightly between the June and July testing to 3.67 micrograms per litre.
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According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand guidelines, the recommended safe drinking water level is 0.07 micrograms per litre, while the recreational threshold is 0.7 micrograms per litre.
“The EPA is continuing to investigate any other potential sources of PFAS in the Stony Creek catchment, including at a number of premises within the Rutherford Industrial Estate,” the EPA told the Newcastle Herald in a statement before Christmas.
“As part of the investigation, the EPA undertook sampling which has shown PFAS detected upstream of the Truegain premises.
“The EPA is now working to determine the source of the upstream contamination.
“Following the discovery of PFAS upstream of the Truegain site, the EPA is investigating premises across the Rutherford Industrial Estate. These investigations are ongoing.”