EPA cleans 24 flooded homes of oil sludge. Contamination source not revealed

ABOVE: A Broadwater house covered with oil sludge. Photos: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

Broadwater homes contaminated by diesel, fuel or oil sludge (called hydrocarbons) during the floods have been assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority.

Twenty-four homes have been professionally cleaned using biodegradable detergent and high-pressure and handwash cleaning equipment. These works took place in agreement with each property owner and were limited to hydrocarbon cleaning works.

An EPA-hired specialist consultant has started soil assessments and sampling of hydrocarbon affected residential properties.

The EPA has identified several likely sources of the contamination but is yet to give a definitive answer on the source.

The thick sludge in some Broadwater homes since the floods

More than 100 sites on 24 private properties were sampled and all 24 residents have received their results.

EPA staff have also met with residents and the consultant to work through the sampling results and the remedial action planning process with them.

Excessive contamination was detected at some properties but the identified concentrations are not considered to present an immediate health risk.

While many homes have already been cleaned up, the EPA is ensuring any homes that remain affected are cleaned up as a matter of urgency.

The EPA is also monitoring the waterways affected by the floods and is advising the community of any risks. 

If you see a potential incident with serious environmental impacts please contact the Environment Line immediately on 131 555 or by email at info@epa.nsw.gov.au

Oil sludge in a Broadwater home.
EPA investigates toxic oil sludge in Broadwater homes after floods

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