CS Energy has released the latest results from its extensive PFAS sampling program on landholder properties near Callide Power Station.
A map published on CS Energy’s website today summarises the results from sampling conducted on 70 landholder properties near Callide Power Station.
Project Manager Brett Smith said more than two thirds of the tested properties returned results under the drinking water guidelines.
“We’ve been able to work through our sampling program quickly thanks to landholders providing us with access to their properties. I want to thank the landholders we have been talking to for their help during what has been an uncertain time for some,” Mr Smith said.
The updated map released today shows the inferred extent of PFOS plus PFHxS (which are types of PFAS) in groundwater.
The map summarises results across five sampling zones – the results from zone 1 that were released on 31 March and the new results released today covering zones 2 – 5.
- 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)
Mr Smith said CS Energy has done further sampling to understand how PFAS is migrating through the area.
“Our main priority is to quantify current PFAS levels in bores that are used for drinking water and, where appropriate, provide affected landholders with an alternative safe water supply.
“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”.
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.
Mr Smith said CS Energy was working with technical consultants and the Department of Environment and Science to develop an ongoing monitoring program.
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. Monitoring will also need to take place over all seasons to assess if there are any variations in the concentrations during the wetter or drier months.
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.
PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a group of manufactured chemicals present in firefighting foams that were historically used at various Australian sites including civil airports, defence bases, ports and large industrial sites. PFAS is also found in common products such as non-stick cooking pans, fabric, furniture and food packaging.
Health experts are still working to fully understand PFAS. Queensland Health have advised there is currently no consistent evidence that PFAS exposure causes adverse human health effects. Please refer to the Queensland Health fact sheet on CS Energy’s website for further health advice:
Callide Power Station’s use of PFAS over the years was infrequent, and in small quantities for training, testing and emergency response purposes. CS Energy removed firefighting foams containing non-compliant levels of PFAS in 2019 as part of a Queensland Government policy to phase out their use.
Visit the Callide PFAS monitoring page for more information.