2020 July: Chelsea (Victoria). Contaminated Groundwater

July 2020

Chelsea:  Toxic Water Shocker.  (Herald Sun July 4 2020 p.3)

Homes Warned After Chemical Discovery

Households in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs have been told to stop using bores after an industrial chemical that stalled the West Gate Tunnel Project was found in groundwater.

Testing during Level Crossing Removal Project works found contamination in Edithvale, Bonbeach and Chelsea, with 5000 households warned about the problem this week.

The Environment Protection Authority said mains water had not been affected, but advised residents with groundwater bores to “avoid contact with the bore water”.

One of the contaminants detected at “elevated” levels is an industrial chemical known as PFAS, which was used in fire fighting foams.

It was found in geotechnical works along the site of level crossing removals…

,residents say the issue is a concern for families who have used the water source on gardens for years.

There are 19 bores in operation in the area, according to water authorities…

“This only affects the small number of residents in the area that use bore water – anyone who does should follow the EPA’s advice” she said.

It is understood the issue of contamination was first raised during environmental checks for level crossing removals in 2018, and further testing exposed elevated levels of industrial and naturally occurring chemicals such as lead, selenium, hydrocarbons and PFAS.

The EPA continues to investigate the source of the problem, which may have been from industrial sites in the area or CFA stations that used to use foams heavy in chemicals…