Callide Power Station

CS Energy releases latest PFAS test results

31 Mar 2021

CS Energy has published a map on its website summarising the results from the first zone of its PFAS sampling on landholder properties near Callide Power Station.

The release of the map follows CS Energy talking with individual landholders about the results for their properties earlier this month, as part of CS Energy’s voluntary program to assess and manage historical use of PFAS at Callide Power Station.

Project Manager Brett Smith thanked landholders for providing them with access to their properties in what has been an uncertain time for some.

“Samples were collected from a range of locations on properties. Our main priority is to quantify current PFAS levels in bores that are used for drinking water and, where appropriate, providing affected landholders with an alternative safe water supply,” Mr Smith said.

CS Energy has divided the sampling area into four geographic zones so that the testing can be carried out as efficiently as possible.

In the first zone:

  • 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 the map summarising zone 1 results. (PDF 7.6MB)

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.

Mr Smith said testing was still underway for properties in the other sampling zones.

“We will continue to periodically publish maps on CS Energy’s website showing indicative PFAS levels for the sampling areas,” he said. “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.”

Banana Shire Council conducted PFAS testing on the Biloela town water supply in February 2021 and it was found to be within drinking water guidelines.

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. For health advice, please refer to the Queensland Health Callide PFAS fact sheet (PDF 281.1KB).

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.

More information

Visit the Callide PFAS monitoring page to learn more about our voluntary PFAS investigation.