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The City has been informed by training organisation IFAP in North Lake that it will soon begin a groundwater testing program to determine whether there has been any migration of the chemical Perfluoroalkyl (commonly called PFAS) from its Farrington Road site.
PFAS was used as part of fire and emergency response training conducted by third-party training providers at the IFAP Fire Training Ground from the mid-1990s until December 2014.
PFAS use ceased at that time when IFAP became aware that between 200-400 litres of liquid containing PFAS had entered the soil at their North Lake site.
This was reported by the training provider to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and investigations into the extent of PFAS in the groundwater commenced soon after.
IFAP has advised the City that from 9-10 November 2017, IFAP will begin consultation with 29 households on the site’s western boundary in a section of Murdoch Chase about the precautionary drilling program. Samples may also be taken from household bores.
Drilling, sampling and testing of eight groundwater wells installed on the IFAP site has detected PFAS in groundwater on the site’s western boundary, with one location returning a result slightly above regulatory guidelines. The groundwater table in this area is about eight metres below the surface.
There is negligible risk of human exposure to PFAS while it remains contained well below ground level.
IFAP has engaged independent environmental consultant Ramboll Environ to test groundwater monitoring wells near the western boundary in the next few weeks.
With the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, including liaising with the Department of Health, IFAP and Ramboll Environ plan to have these results available by early January 2018.
Approvals will be sought from the City of Cockburn and other landowners as required, depending on the final location chosen for the sampling bores.
To find out more, call the IFAP support line on 08 9333 9905 9am-3pm weekdays or email IFAP.
Further information on PFAS can be found here:
Australian Health Department
WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
WA Health Department
9 Coleville Crescent,
PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965