Assessment works in progress
The EPA has been overseeing an assessment program at Glenelg East since 2012, to monitor soil vapour for chemicals including trichloroethene (TCE), coming from a former dry cleaner at 37–41 Cliff Street.
On 21 April 2016, the EPA wrote to residents to advise that works to date had confirmed the groundwater is contaminated and should not be used for any purpose. Indoor air concentrations of TCE were predicted to be very low or below detection limits and homes in the assessment area are considered to be safe from vapour intrusion.
During March 2017, the EPA is installing additional groundwater wells and soil vapour bores, to delineate the groundwater and soil vapour plumes. This is to monitor the progress of the contamination and also to determine if detection in the western part of the area is related to this former dry cleaning site or if it is a separate source. The area is being increased slightly in the south western corner to include an approximate 25 additional properties (please see map overleaf).
As per previous advice, please do not use groundwater (bore water) for any purpose. Mains water and water from rainwater tanks are not affected. Home grown fruit and vegetables are safe to consume, provided they are not watered using bore water.
The EPA advised residents and property owners with bores or groundwater wells not to use the bore water (groundwater) until further notice. Mains (tap) water and rainwater tanks are not affected. This advice remains in place.
Assessment work undertaken since 2011 confirmed that the groundwater contamination had migrated from the source site. The chemicals identified in the groundwater are petroleum hydrocarbons, perchloroethene or tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE) and dichloroethene (DCE).
Environmental consultants Fyfe Pty Ltd were engaged to investigate soil vapour and the level of TCE in the air within the assessment area. Their latest report to the EPA on 8 April 2016, predicted all of the 420 properties in the assessment area were at the 'safe’ level within the indoor air level response range for TCE. Of the 420 properties in the Glenelg East assessment area, there were 45 with very low predicted concentrations of less than 2 µg/m3 of TCE and the remainder of homes had predicted concentrations for indoor, lower than detection.The EPA has continued environmental assessment works in the vicinity of the Glenelg Dry Cleaners site on Cliff Street, in order to help the EPA better understand the nature and extent of offsite contamination in the groundwater and soil vapour to the south, west and northwest of the site.
Letters to residents
- April 2016 | Main | Please contact us for the appendices
- SA Health preliminary health consultation report, July 2015
- June 2015 | Main | Appendix A to G | Appendix H | Appendix I to K
- January 2015 | Main | Figures | Tables | Appendix A & B | Appendix C to E | Appendix F | Appendix G | Appendix H | Appendix I & J
- March 2009
- November 2004
- November 2002
How did the EPA become aware of groundwater contamination in the Glenelg East EPA assessment area?
In 2007, the EPA received an Audit Report for a property on the north of Cliff Street, Glenelg East, which was being redeveloped for a residential use. It was identified at that time that there was potential groundwater contamination arising from a former dry cleaning facility directly south of the proposed residential development.
More extensive groundwater investigations commenced, in 2008, to assess the nature and extent of the site contamination arising from the former dry cleaning site.
What are the chemicals of concern?
The site was operating as a dry cleaning facility from the 1950s until approximately 2005.
The contaminants of concern in the groundwater are chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as, perchloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), dichloroethene (DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC), and petroleum hydrocarbons.
PCE and TCE are common industrial solvents and were used widely as dry cleaning fluids, degreasers and metal cleaners. DCE and VC are generally present as the result of the degradation and breakdown of TCE.
Can I use the bore water?
Work to date has confirmed that the groundwater (bore water) in this assessment area is contaminated and should not be used for any purpose. Mains water and water from rainwater tanks are not affected by this contamination and home grown fruit and vegetables are safe to consume, provided they are not being watered with contaminated bore water.
Is there a soil/groundwater vapour issue associated with the contamination arising from contaminated groundwater?
As part of the EPA assessment process in the area, the risk of vapour entering homes and buildings has been investigated. An independent contractor has predicted all of the 420 properties in the assessment area to be at the 'safe level within the indoor air level response range for TCE, ie non-detection or less than 2 µg/m3.