Assessment work by the EPA
The EPA has been assessing groundwater and soil vapour in South-Eastern Edwardstown for historically used chemicals including trichloroethene (TCE), since 2015.
In Janunary 2017, the EPA undertook a fourth stage of work in the area. An additional 10 groundwater bores and 14 soil vapour bores were installed to delineate the lateral extent of TCE contamination. Sampling activities were carried out at new and existing locations to monitor the soil vapour for seasonal variation.
The human health risk has been updated and all properties are considered to be safe from soil vapour intrusion, with predicted indoor air concentrations of TCE below 2 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).
The recent work has identified a number of areas where the EPA would like to obtain further information, one of which relates to determining a contamination source within the assessment area. The EPA is now planning further assessment work.
Groundwater in this area is contaminated and should not be used for any purpose. Mains water and water from rainwater tanks are not affected by this issue. Home grown fruit and vegetables are safe to consume, provided they are not watered with bore water.
TCE is an industrial chemical used widely as a metal cleaner and degreaser. In the past, TCE was used in many applications including electroplating, cleaning metal, dry cleaning, decaffeination of coffee and as an anaesthetic used in hospitals.
The purpose of this assessment program is to understand the nature and extent of groundwater and soil vapour contamination as a result of former industrial activities at two properties on Arabrie and Erudina Avenues, Edwardstown. These works have and continue to be managed by the EPA, as part of its role as South Australia’s environmental regulator.
The soil vapour testing assists in understanding whether any contamination is moving through the soil in vapour form. Preliminary data found trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE) in groundwater and soil vapour at several locations within the assessment area.
The human health risk assessment from 30 June 2016 found that all properties in the assessment area are considered to be safe, with predicted concentrations below 2 µg/m3 of TCE for indoor air.
Letter to residents
- May 2017 | Report | Appendix A.1 (Maps) | Appendix A.2 (Maps) | Appendix B–E (tables etc) | Appendix F–H | Appendix I–L | Appendix M–T
- June 2016 | Maps | Report & App A&B | App C to G | App H to L | App M to T
- March 2016 | Report | Appendices A–H | Appendix I | Appendices J–U
- July 2015 | Report | Appendices A–F | Appendices G–L | Appendices M–S
South-Eastern Edwardstown Community Working Group (CWG)
The EPA established a community working group in November 2015 in South-Eastern Edwardstown and holds meetings for information sharing and the opportunity to ask questions of EPA staff as required. If you would like to become a member of this group or would like to receive copies of past meeting notes and presentations, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1800 729 175.
- Presentation, 30 August 2016
- Presentation, 12 July 2016
- Meeting notes, 10 May 2016
- Presentation, 10 May 2016
- Meeting notes, 16 March 2016
- Presentation, 16 March 2016
- Meeting notes, 23 February 2016
- Presentation, 23 February 2016
- Presentation, 15 December 2015
- Presentation, 24 November 2015
- Terms of reference
Frequently asked questions
How did the EPA become aware of groundwater contamination in the South-Eastern Edwardstown EPA assessment area?
Contamination from trichloroethene (TCE) on two industrial sites has been identified through a previous testing program undertaken by the site owner. At the time, the EPA worked with the owner to determine appropriate next steps.
What are the chemicals of concern?
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.
Can I use 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 vapour issue associated with the contamination arising from contaminated groundwater?
Works are ongoing to determine the soil vapour intrusion risk. The human health risk assessment undertaken in June 2016 and updated in May 2017 consider all properties in the assessment area are considered to be safe, with predicted concentrations below 2 µg/m3 of TCE for indoor air.
For further information on health-related queries, please contact SA Health on (08) 8226 7100.
For site contamination related enquiries, please contact the EPA on 1800 729 175 or email.