Cairns South Fire Station Late 2016
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services sites
In mid-2016, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) tested soil and water held in the in-ground water tanks at the Enoggera, Cairns, Rockhampton, Southport, Yeppoon, Townsville and Oakey fire stations.
In late 2016, QFES also tested the water held in the in-ground water tanks at the following fire stations: Cairns South, Forrest Beach, Ayr, Home Hill, Mt Isa, Airlie Beach, Proserpine, Dysart, Mackay, Sarina, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Noosa Heads, Caloundra, Charleville, Arana Hills, Annerley, Windsor, Roma St, Kemp Place and the Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy (QCESA) at Whyte Island in Brisbane’s east.
Testing was conducted to identify the concentration of a range of PFAS, including PerFluoro-Octane Sulfonate (PFOS) and PerFluoro-Octanoic Acid (PFOA), in the in-ground water tanks at these locations.
The results from the testing were to be used to inform proactive actions by QFES.
The test results were compared against the health-based guidance values for PFAS that were developed for the Commonwealth Department of Health by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). They were published in April 2017 and offer guidance values for drinking water and recreational water contact (i.e. swimming, bathing).
Water held in the in-ground water tanks has not been used for drinking or recreational purposes. The in-ground water tanks have been used in the past to recycle water used in training and surface water run-off. There are no specific health-based guidance values for PFAS contained in recycled water used for these purposes. However, the health-based guidance values for recreational water use have been used as a guide for testing purposes.