Assessment works commencing in 2017
Kelvinator undertook environmental assessments from 2014–16 into groundwater contamination coming from their former sites in Everard Avenue, Keswick. Chemicals including trichloroethene (TCE) were identified in the groundwater and soil vapour, and engineering works were undertaken to prevent vapour intrusion at the commercial property.
This site, and two neighbouring sites, were in use by Kelvinator from the 1940s to about 1985 and were part of its refrigerator manufacturing operations (please see map). Initial investigations were undertaken to determine the extent of the groundwater contamination and soil vapour intrusion. The EPA is now undertaking further work to determine the extent of the contamination.
During March 2017, 35 temporary soil vapour bores will be installed by a four wheel drive mounted drill rig. The data obtained will inform the EPA about the concentrations of TCE likely to be in the residential area, and whether there is any further work that needs to be done. The EPA will inform you as soon as the results have been analysed and will advise you on the outcome.
Residents have previously been advised that the groundwater (bore water) in this area is contaminated and should not be used for any purpose. Mains water is not affected by this issue and home grown fruit and vegetables are safe to eat providing they are not watered with contaminated bore water.
EPA staff are available to speak with you in person about this matter. If you would like to arrange a meeting or for further information please contact 1800 729 175 or email.
The most recent investigation, which assessed chemicals within the soil, soil vapour, and indoor/outdoor air, did not identify levels in indoor/outdoor air that represent a risk to the occupants of the former Kelvinator sites.
The EPA was notified of site contamination in soil at a former Kelvinator Australia Limited industrial site at Keswick during site redevelopment in November 2013. This notification triggered further testing of groundwater and soil vapour within and around the industrial site. Testing works have progressed in stages and all of the reports documenting these works are on the EPA Public Register and are available on request to the EPA.
The testing work, commissioned by former site owner and refrigerator manufacturer, Kelvinator, in consultation with the EPA, sought to better understand the extent of contamination near its former Everard Avenue site.
In December 2014, Kelvinator letterbox dropped approximately 1,500 residential and commercial properties in the Keswick/Ashford/Forestville/Everard Park area. The letter informed the community that further investigations into groundwater and soil vapour contamination had commenced in the area.
These investigations followed on from an initial vapour assessment that Kelvinator undertook in March 2014. The soil vapour measurements report (May 2014) identified concentrations of the chemical solvent trichloroethene (TCE) in soil vapour adjacent to commercial properties. The concentrations of TCE in soil vapour indicated a need for further investigations which formed part of the scope of works that commenced in November 2014 to the west of Ashford Road.
In 2016 further groundwater and soil vapour investigations undertaken, and works were also undertaken on the southern side of Everard Avenue, Keswick, commencing in August 2015 with additional works undertaken in February 2016.
Letters to residents
For further information on this matter, please contact the EPA on 1800 729 175 or via email.