23 March 2021: Tonsley (South Australia). Groundwater Prohibition Area announced.

23 March 2021: Tonsley (South Australia)

Groundwater prohibition area for Tonsley & surrounds

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will establish a Groundwater Prohibition Area (GPA) in Tonsley, and parts of Mitchell Park, Clovelly Park and Marion to prevent residents and workers from accessing contaminated groundwater.

Groundwater in these areas is contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons, petroleum hydrocarbons, PFAS, heavy metals and cyanide from past industrial activities.

The GPA will come into effect on April 8 and will prohibit people from drawing and using bore water from shallow aquifers less than 25 metres deep. Deeper uncontaminated aquifers, such as those used by councils, are exempt from this prohibition.

Residents should contact the EPA if they are unsure how deep their bore is.

The EPA has written to impacted residents and landowners to advise them that the GPA will be established, and this follows a 90day community consultation period.

EPA Director Regulation, Peter Dolan said using contaminated bore water for drinking, showering, washing, filling swimming pools, watering lawns or irrigating edible produce over a long period of time would be a health risk for people in the affected area.

“Tonsley and surrounding suburbs have had significant commercial, industrial and manufacturing activities in the past, and unfortunately chemicals were disposed of by tipping them onto the ground. “At the time it was thought thechemicals would evaporate, but we now know they migrate through the ground and contaminate groundwater.

From 8 April 2021, extracting groundwater (bore water) from the Pooraka Formation aquifer (56 m below ground level) and Upper Hindmarsh Clay Quaternary aquifer (823 m below ground level) will be prohibited. A maximum fine of $8,000 may be issued if bore water is extracted from these aquifers.

Further information, including a map of the impacted area is available at: www.engage.epa.sa.gov.au/Tonsley

For further information please contact the EPA community engagement team on (08) 8204 2004, or email engage.epa@sa.gov.au