Groundwater Prohibition Area
Groundwater in this area is contaminated and the EPA established a groundwater prohibition area (GPA) on 9 January 2018. A maximum fine of $8,000 may be issued if groundwater is extracted from the 1st (0–8 m below ground level), 2nd (0–15 m) and 3rd (0–26 m) Quaternary aquifers in certain parts of this area (please see map below). Deeper uncontaminated aquifers are exempt from this prohibition. Residents are encouraged to contact the EPA if they are unsure how deep their bore is.
Assessment works by Bridgestone
Intrusive environmental assessments undertaken in relation to a former automotive components facility jointly owned by Bridgestone Australia Ltd and Toyoda Gosei Ltd, identified soil and groundwater contamination in 1997 by environmental consultants engaged at the site.
At that time the EPA was notified of environmental contamination and the proposed plan for assessment and remediation.
Due to the historical manufacture of polyether and polyurethane products on site, chemicals of concern such as solvents, chlorinated hydrocarbons, petroleum hydrocarbons and other contaminants have entered the environment and impacted the soil and groundwater.
Bridgestone Australia Ltd had previously undertaken extensive assessment and remediation works associated with the contamination, and bore owners in the immediate vicinity of the site, have been advised not to use their bore water until further notice.
On and off-site investigations are ongoing and Bridgestone engaged a site contamination auditor to complete an audit to determine the nature and extent of site contamination and to determine what remediation is necessary for the site. The area is bounded by East Terrace, Ascot Park to the west, Oval Avenue and Flinders Street, Edwardstown to the north, Wheaton Road, Melrose Park to the east and Weaver Street, Edwardstown to the south.
Technical reports on this investigation are available on the public register.
Letters to residents
- 9 January 2018, Edwardstown GPA, Government Gazette, pg 18
- Determination report December 2017
Frequently asked questions
How did the EPA become aware of the contamination in Central Edwardstown?
The groundwater contamination in the area of Central Edwardstown is likely to be associated with known contamination arising from the former automotive components facility at Edwardstown, first identified in the 1990s.
Bridgestone Australia Ltd has undertaken extensive assessment and remediation works of this contamination and has previously notified the public of the contaminated groundwater, tested private bores in the nearby area and advised bore owners not to use their bore water until further notice. Since the completion of the remediation works, Bridgestone Australia Ltd have carried out ongoing groundwater monitoring and provided the results to the EPA.
What are the chemicals of concern?
The EPA has been aware of this contamination since 1997 and it is likely that the contamination is associated with leakages and spills which occurred since the 1940s associated with operations at the former Bridgestone facility.
TCE (trichloroethene) is a common industrial solvent and was used widely as a degreaser and metal cleaner. DCE (dichloroethene) is generally present as the result of the degradation and breakdown of TCE.
For more information on the chemicals of concern, please refer to the SA Health information on Chlorinated solvents in groundwater .
Can I use bore water?
Goundwater (bore water) in this assessment area is contaminated and should not be used for any purpose. Water from mains and 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?
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 less than 2 µg/m3. Additional works will be undertaken in the coming months to determine the extent of the groundwater contamination, which will inform the EPA as to where a groundwater prohibition area may need to be established.