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You are here:HomeNews Articles2020January Groundwater contamination at Duri
Two underground fuel storage tanks in the Duri area have been emptied today. Testing of these tanks will be undertaken in the coming days to confirm if they were the cause of the contamination.
Council has spent the day door knocking all properties in the Duri area delivering newsletters are surveys to local residents. If a resident did not receive a visit or information from Council they are advised to contact Council on 6767 5555.
Further water samples from the contaminated area will be taken next week to determine the extent of the contamination.
Council continues to advise residents in the area that bore water from the Duri area should not to be consumed and the use of bores should be limited to prevent further contamination.Thursday 2 January, 2020
On Sunday, 29 December 2019, the New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) advised Tamworth Regional Council that a HAZMAT team had identified fuel contamination of the groundwater at two Duri properties.Council is currently completing investigations to determine the source of the fuel leak and contamination.
Testing to determine the spread of the contamination and the number of bores impacted has begun today. Ross Briggs, Tamworth Regional Council Manager – Compliance, said “Council is aware that many residents in the area rely on their bore water for both internal and external uses but at this time we advise that bore water from the Duri area should not to be consumed and the use of bores should be limited to prevent further contamination”.
If residents in the area detect a fuel odour in their bore water they are advised to contact Council on 6767 5555. Council has a list of registered water carters on its website for those seeking an alternative water supply - https://www.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/Water-and-Sewerage/Water-Supplies/Registered-Domestic-Water-Carters/Registered-Domestic-Water-Carters.
According to NSW Health fuel and other petroleum products contain a mixture of many different chemicals including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and other petrol hydrocarbons which are referred to collectively as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).
Everyone is exposed to petrol hydrocarbons from many sources, such as petrol pumps and chemicals used at home or work. Common ways that people may be exposed are through breathing fumes while re-fueling a vehicle, working with petroleum products or touching soil contaminated with petrol hydrocarbons.
Some petrol hydrocarbons can have health effects. Fortunately, people are likely to notice an unusual taste, odour or appearance of water contaminated with petrol at levels far lower than those associated with any health risk. Due to this, the chance of people consuming water that contains harmful levels of petrol hydrocarbons is also low.
The short-term (acute) effects of consuming petrol hydrocarbons include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Often no symptoms occur following ingestion. Headache, dizziness or drowsiness, or irritation of the eyes, lungs and skin may occur following direct contact with high concentrations of petrol hydrocarbons.
If there is ongoing exposure there may be effects on the immune system, blood cells, lungs, skin and eyes. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that one compound in petrol (benzene) is linked with an increased risk of cancer in humans. However long-term risks are unlikely in this situation due to the short-term nature of the event.
It is advised that groundwater in urban and village settings should never be used for drinking due to its potential for microbial and chemical contamination.
Tamworth Regional Council will continue to work with NSW EPA and Hunter New England Health to ensure residents remain informed about the situation and understand the processes related to groundwater contamination moving forward.