27.1 C
Byron Shire
December 8, 2022

Groundwater contamination investigated in Byron Bay

Latest News

Don’t remove the concrete barriers say Tweed Council

The removal of concrete barriers at Reserve Creek Road landslip are putting the community at risk say Tweed Shire Council

Other News

Planning for Casino and Urban Growth

Richmond Valley Council is seeking community feedback on two key strategic documents - the draft Richmond Valley Growth Management Strategy and Casino Place Plan.

Varroa mite Red Zone expansion

Varroa mites are the most serious pest to honeybees worldwide, and can destroy honey bee colonies if left unchecked and the current eradication zone has been expanded.

Mullum’s zebra crossing win hard fought by residents

A zebra crossing is being installed at a pedestrian safety blackspot near the centre of Mullumbimby, following a long-running campaign by a group of local residents.

Lismore Symphony Orchestra

After almost three years’ delay, Lismore Symphony Orchestra is very happy to present their Timeless concert series.  On December 10...

Warning: Northern Rivers Rail Trail not ready yet

Love or hate it, the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is under construction and the community is being urged to wait until it is safe for public use.

Protests against Violet CoCo’s 15 months imprisonment

On Friday environment activist Violet CoCo faced the Magistrates Court, at the Downing Centre in Sydney for peacefully protesting climate inaction. She was sentenced to  15 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight months for engaging in non-violent protest.

Dave Underwood and Brian Earley performed in a Byron ‘Kombi Konga’ as the new bypass as the new road was opened. Photo Jeff ‘Kombiapocalypse’ Dawson

Contamination by per-and-poly fluoroalkyl (PFAS) at Butler Street Reserve is being investigated by both the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Council.

Butler Street Reserve is located on the newly opened bypass, just west of the town’s CBD.

Byron Shire Council staff say the joint investigation began after PFAS was detected in the groundwater beneath Butler Street Reserve and the adjacent Byron Drain (also referred to as Union Drain).

Staff say, ‘PFAS is a group of chemicals that were widely used in some fire-fighting foams and other products including food packaging, non-stick cookware, fabric, furniture, clothing, and shampoo’.

Byron’s Butler Street Reserve. Photo supplied

Landfill till 1970s

‘Butler Street Reserve was an unlicensed landfill used by residents and businesses in Byron Bay for the disposal of rubbish until the mid 1970s.

‘The EPA said it was likely that the PFAS contamination was a result of general household rubbish put into the landfill’.

The next phase of investigation involves surveying and sampling water from 11 registered bores in the vicinity of the Butler Street Reserve to determine whether groundwater contamination has moved offsite.

Manager Assets and Major Projects, Phil Warner, said, ‘We know there is contamination of groundwater at Butler Street Reserve, and we now need to understand if there is contamination beyond Butler Street Reserve, and if there is, what that level is’.

‘Council has written to, and where possible, spoken to residents and owners of the 11 properties, advising them we are going to be testing the water in their bores to see if PFAS is present and finding out if, or how, they use that bore water’, Mr Warner said.

‘While the water sampling will be completed at registered bore locations, advice from the Australian Government, supported by the NSW Government, in relation to PFAS is that finding PFAS in the environment does not mean there is a human health risk.

‘If property owners in the vicinity of Butler Street Reserve have unregistered bores on their property which they would like included in the testing regime, they can contact Council at Major Works’.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Not suprised. The tip operated there well into the early eighties from memory.
    It wasn’t an informal one. Council ran it.
    There was one right beside Simpsons Creek in Brunswick behind the Bowling Club again into the eighties.
    Right beside the creek.
    All sorts of agricultural chemicals were dumped there too.

  2. Nick is correct, the tip ran into the eighties . It had been open for many years, maybe 20?
    The approx 30 metre high hill the size of a couple of football fields or more is full of unsorted garbage including industrial waste although towards the end of the tips life signs went up warning not to dump industrial waste.
    I dumped a few household loads there over the years and often there wasn’t anyone managing on site so it was free for all.
    When the Tip was closed and grassed over their was some sort of covenant put on the site that stated that no activity should occur there for 30 years which is now passed.
    On tip closure The byron environment centre formed a crown lands trust called the cumbebim wet land sanctuary so as to try to manage the adjoining wetlands and regenerate the sites as best as possible by planting many hundreds of trees and weeding out the invasive species , this has been as successful as possible with the mountain of toxic waste present.
    In reality the only way to restore the whole site is to remove the waste which is leaching some very nasty residues into the Byron Bay water table and waterways including the bay. The leaching will continue and some chemicals which have extremely long half lives will continue to pollute paradise until the bullet is bitten and the mess is dealt with.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Public appeal: Grievous bodily harm, Burliegh Heads

Police have released footage of two men they wish to speak with as part of investigations into the grievous bodily harm of a man at Burleigh Heads on Sunday October 2.

Councils ‘bullied’ with increased NSW govt burdens, say LGNSW

NSW councils have been ‘set up to fail’ with their annual audits ‘because the NSW Government is forcing them to carry the depreciation cost of assets they neither own nor control’, claims the peak body representing councils, Local Government NSW.

Cumbalum shops and affordable homes one step closer – by car

Cumbalum is one step closer towards having some local shops and five new officially affordable homes in perpetuity thanks to council approval of preliminary planning requirements.

Mullum’s zebra crossing win hard fought by residents

A zebra crossing is being installed at a pedestrian safety blackspot near the centre of Mullumbimby, following a long-running campaign by a group of local residents.