Callide Power Station

Callide PFAS monitoring

CS Energy is conducting a voluntary investigation into the potential environmental impact of our historical use of PFAS at Callide Power Station.

Callide's use of PFAS was infrequent and in small quantities for training, testing and emergency response purposes. We removed firefighting foams containing non-compliant levels of PFAS in 2019 as part of a Queensland Government policy to phase out their use.

Monitoring program

CS Energy is working with an independent environmental testing firm to understand the impact of our historical PFAS use at Callide Power Station. We are also working closely with the Department of Environment and Science and Queensland Health, and following their advice.

The health of the community and our employees is CS Energy’s key priority and will guide our actions throughout the monitoring program. We are speaking directly with affected landholders and proactively updating the broader Biloela community and our employees.

Test results

03/09/2021 - Results for zones 1 to 6

CS Energy has a released an updated map summarising the results of its PFAS testing to date.

The map summarises the results from sampling conducted on 82 landholder properties this year. It includes about six months of testing in six zones near the Callide Power Station.

Results snapshot:

  • 82 landholder properties were tested, and of this 82, 23 landholders had at least one sample point over drinking water guidelines. CS Energy is working with landholders on an individual basis to provide an alternative domestic water supply.
  • The remaining 59 landholder properties returned results under the drinking water guidelines.

We’ve talked to landholders about their results and provided them with a lab report and advice from Qld Health and other government agencies.

View the map summarising results in zones 1 to 6 (PDF 1.7MB)

NEXT STEPS

Over the next six months (to early 2022) CS Energy is undertaking a series of actions, including resampling landholder bores, ongoing monitoring, hydrogeological review and on-site (at the power station) remediation.

Read more about the next steps in the newsletter (PDF 210.8KB)

18/06/2021 – Results for zones 1 to 5

CS Energy has released a map summarising the latest results of its PFAS sampling program on landholder properties near Callide Power Station.

The map summarises results across five sampling zones – the results from zone 1 that were released on 31 March and new results released today covering zones 2 – 5.

Results snapshot:

  • Of the 70 landholders in zones 1 to 5, 19 landholders had at least one sample point over drinking water guidelines, with four of those landholders using it for drinking water. CS Energy is working with landholders on an individual basis to provide an alternative drinking water supply.
  • The remaining 51 landholder properties returned results under the drinking water guidelines.

View the map summarising zone 1 to 5 results. (PDF 8.1MB)

CS Energy has provided each landholder with their results, including their own laboratory report, relevant advice from Queensland Health and information from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries about using bore water for irrigating crops and for livestock.

Next steps

So far, the results indicate that the further downstream we go, higher levels of PFAS are generally found north of the Callide Creek. We want to get a more complete picture of what concentration is happening in the area by testing in a new zone south of the creek.

This new area (zone 6) is bound by Dawson Highway, Callide Creek, Tognolini Baldwin road and Jambin Dakenba Road. We completed sampling in early June and expect the results in the next few weeks.

Over the coming months, CS Energy also intends to conduct a hydrogeological review, sampling of aquatic organisms, and a human health and ecological risk assessment. This will give further insight into how water flows in the area, and any ongoing potential exposure for people and the environment.

CS Energy will continue to provide information to landholders and the community about the program of work going forward.

31/03/2021 - Results from testing on landholder properties in zone 1

CS Energy has divided the sampling area near Callide Power Station into four geographic zones so that the testing can be carried out as efficiently as possible. We’ve been receiving the results in batches and we how have all the results for zone 1.

In zone 1:

  • Samples were collected from 21 landholders’ properties in the area downstream along Callide Creek to just past the Linkes Road creek crossing.
  • Seven landholders had at least one sample point over drinking water guidelines, with four of those landholders using it for drinking water. CS Energy has organised an alternative drinking water supply for these four landholders.
  • The remaining 14 landholder properties returned results under the drinking water guidelines.

CS Energy has provided each landholder with their results, including their own laboratory report, relevant advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Environment and Science, and information from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries about using bore water for irrigating crops and for livestock.

View a map summarising zone 1 results (PDF 7.6MB)

Next steps

Further work is required to better understand the variable nature of the results and the influence of factors such as bore depth, age and volume of use; aquifer connectivity; and interaction between surface water and groundwater.

Testing is still under way for properties in the other sampling zones. As we continue to receive results for each zone we will periodically update the map on our website. We expect to release the results for zones 2 and 3 in May.

Our technical experts are also developing a longer term PFAS monitoring and management program in consultation with the Department of Environment and Science.

01/03/2021 - Sampling underway on landholder properties

In February 2021 we sampled on private landholder property in same section of Callide Creek as our January sampling program. We also did some extra sampling further downstream of Linkes Road at the request of some landholders.

The results are coming through in batches over February and March. Early results have shown a mix of PFAS levels above and below drinking water guidelines. Once we have all of the results, we’ll provide an update on the findings on this web page.

Our first priority is to talk through individual results with each landholder and provide them with their own lab report and the relevant advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Environment and Science.

In the meantime, we are continuing with our sampling program and will broaden the testing area to include properties between the Linkes Road creek crossing and the Dawson Highway.

22/02/2021 - Banana Shire Council tests of Biloela town water 

Following CS Energy's detection of PFAS in some locations near Callide Power Station, the Banana Shire Council tested the Biloela town water supply.

The results of Council's tests found that the Biloela water supply is safe to drink. Read the Council's update on their Facebook page.

08/02/2021 - Initial findings from sampling in January 2021

In January 2021 CS Energy's independent environmental testing firm took samples on site, and off site in the area adjacent to the power station.

Samples were taken adjacent to the power station and various locations along Callide Creek between the station and approximately four kilometres downstream to the Linkes Road creek crossing. None of the sample sites were on private property.

KEY FINDINGS
  • The tests found that at locations within and outside our site, there were levels of PFAS detected that were higher than the government guidelines for drinking water and species protection.
  • While some results were above the government guidelines, they were significantly lower than at other sites in Queensland that had PFAS in their groundwater.
  • We are working with the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and Queensland Health on these results.
  • DES and Queensland Health have identified one location about 4km downstream (near Linkes Road) as the priority public health focus area given its proximity to private property and distance from the power station.
  • The other locations that were above guidelines are either on, or very close to the power station site, and in the predicted flow path of PFAS.

Callide PFAS sampling area map (PDF 6.4MB)

NEXT STEPS

Going forward, we'll be doing more monitoring and testing of water samples from the surrounding catchment. Over coming weeks and months we’ll be sampling on and off our site, and working with potentially affected landholders to test their bores they use for domestic purposes. 

For more information, please read the CS Energy fact sheet for landholders (PDF 158.7KB)

Quick links

Timeline - as at October 2021 (PDF 187.3KB)

Newsletter - October 2021 - Next steps - displayed at community walk-in session - October (PDF 210.8KB)

Map summarising results from zones 1-6 (PDF 1.7MB)

CS Energy - fact sheet - updated 18 June 2021 (PDF 10.4MB)

CS Energy - fact sheet - displayed at community walk-in session - April 2021 (PDF 6.5MB)

Qld Health fact sheet (PDF 281.1KB)

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries fact sheet for primary producers (PDF 169.5KB)

finding support

Everyone manages uncertainty and stress differently. A number of support services are available to you, including your GP. The Australian Government funds a range of services for people affected by PFAs, including Better Access and Head to Health. Find out more at health.gov.au

CS Energy is also offering landholders in the sampling zones near the Callide Power Station access to our Employee Assistance Program providers, Assure Program.

If you feel you need support, you’re invited to call Assure on 1800 808 374 (24 hours).

Assure will provide affected landholders with free, confidential support, with no GP referral required. This service will be available for at least the next six months.

Download Assure's FAQ document with more information here (PDF 230.3KB)

Frequently asked questions

About PFAS

What fire-fighting foams do you now use at your sites?

What is PFAS?

When was PFAS used at Callide?

 

CS Energy's testing program

How are you protecting the privacy of landowners’ individual test results?

How was the testing undertaken?

Is CS Energy the only organisation in Biloela that used PFAS?

What testing have you done to date?

Where will you be sampling in the next round of tests?

 

Drinking water guidelines

For landholders with levels of PFAS above the drinking water guidelines on their property, how will it impact their daily activity?

How are the drinking water guidelines set?

Is CS Energy providing alternative water supplies for affected landowners?

What about landholders whose results showed some levels of PFAS but they were below the drinking water and recreation guidelines?

What are the recreational water guidelines?

 

Health

Do I need to get a blood test?

How long does it take for PFAS to leave my system?

I am pregnant, is this harmful for or to my baby?

Is there a risk to my health?

Should I continue to breastfeed?

What part of the body does PFAS affect?

 

Livestock

Can I sell my crops or livestock?

Can I sell produce produced in areas contaminated by PFAS?

Can I still irrigate my crops?

Can I still use the water in the troughs for my livestock?

Can my pets (dogs/cats) still drink the water?

General

I’ve changed my chicken’s drinking water to an alternative supply. When can I start eating their eggs again?

Will PFAS affect the breeding value (genetics) of stud animals or international trade?

Media releases

 

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