2018/21: Altona Waste Water Treatment Plant. PFAS pollution

2016-2021: Altona  Waste Water Treatment Plant

Multiple PFAS detections.

Links here which mention Altona North:


Effluent Pollution

The highest amounts of PFAS chemicals released into the environment occurred at Western Treatment Plant and Altona Treatment Plant in Western Melbourne. Greater Western Water has been aware of the PFAS problems at the Altona Treatment Plant since 2017. They have an extensive monitoring network throughout western Melbourne which can monitor PFAS contamination at selected manholes. PFAS has also been detected 2km offshore in Altona Bay. Altona Bay is located in the Hobsons Bay sub-catchment of Port Phillip Bay and is regarded as being slightly to moderately modified, meaning that it warrants a 95% protection, rather than 99% protection in many other regions of the state. This means that the ecological guideline for PFOS in Altona Bay is 0.13µg/L, rather than 0.00023µg/L in 99% protection areas. The highest levels of PFOS recorded at Altona WWTP were double the 95% trigger level with levels of 0.869µg/L, almost 7 times higher than the 95% trigger level detected in brine. Greater Western Water has been looking at different treatment technologies to deal with the PFAS problem at Altona, including Granular Activated Carbon, Ion Exchange and Photocatalytic degradation.

*The Altona North detection came from one sample only. PFOS levels at recorded at Eastern Treatment Plant were probably highest, however data sets provided by Melbourne Water were difficult to interpret accurately.

*The Altona North detection came from one sample only, with highest average levels recorded at Shepparton, Mansfield, Kilmore and Western Treatment Plants. Note though that PFHxS levels were generally 10 times lower than PFOS and PFOA.

Friends of the Earth has also learnt that biosolids from Altona North in Melbourne are also ending up at Dutson Downs. Strangely, no information on biosolids was supplied to Friends of the Earth from Gippsland Water during the FoI process.