Munmorah and Colongra Power Stations
2018: Generator Property Management and Snowy Hydro Limited are investigating potential PFAS (per-and-poly-fluroalkyl substances) contamination stemming from the historical use of fire-fighting foams at the Munmorah and Colongra sites.
Investigations have found PFAS onsite and at the end of the canals at the Colongra and Munmorah power stations, however, seafood from the Tuggerah Lakes system remains safe to eat.
The detection of PFAS is not unexpected given the past use of PFAS-containing fire-fighting foams at the sites. PFAS has also been used in many domestic and industrial products and background levels may be present from these other sources.
Detailed investigations have revealed that groundwater is generally moving towards the centre of the Munmorah and Colongra sites, meaning that exposure to PFAS from the groundwater is limited.
Seafood sampling results and dietary advice
Following testing of popular edible seafood species undertaken in the Tuggerah Lakes system, the community can continue to consume seafood from the Tuggerah Lakes system –Tuggerah Lake, Lake Munmorah and Budgewoi Lake.
Species tested include sea mullet, yellowfin bream, dusky flathead, luderick, silver biddy, school prawns, eastern king prawns, and whiting.
The EPA is encouraging community members to note general advice from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand which is to consume no more than 2-3 serves of seafood a week as part of a balanced diet.
Local fishing advice
It’s important to remember that no fishing within the power station’s canals or water systems is permitted. A pre-existing ban on net fishing in Budgewoi Creek and the seasonal night time ban on fishing in the Munmorah Power House outlet canal or Budgewoi Lake is not related to PFAS. These are long-standing closures unrelated to PFAS investigations currently underway.