Lake Toolooma, Heathcote National Park
The PFAS investigation at Lake Toolooma has now concluded. Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were found in water and sediment and perfluorooctane sulfonate within fish at Lake Toolooma. The detection of PFAS is not unexpected given the past use of PFAS-containing fire-fighting foams at the site. PFAS has also been used in many domestic and industrial products and background levels may be present from these other sources.
Anglers are advised to practice catch and release for Australian Bass caught in Lake Toolooma, within the Heathcote National Park near Waterfall, after detections of PFAS were found in this species.
It is still safe to swim in Lake Toolooma.
The NSW Rural Fire Services (RFS) conducted fire-fighting training in a vacant area of land, off the Princes Highway, near Waterfall. Because of this, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries (DPI) conducted testing of water, sediment and fish to determine if the lake is affected by PFAS.
RFS continue to use the site for fire-fighting training however, PFAS-containing foams are not used.
What is known so far?
Investigations have found PFAS in water and sediment and PFOS within fish at Lake Toolooma.The detection of PFAS is not unexpected given the past use of PFAS-containing fire-fighting foam at the site. PFAS has also been used in many domestic and industrial products and background levels may be present from these other sources.