Water Resources Information

PFAS Testing on Council Facilities

Following on from the ongoing Department of Defence PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) testing across a number of sites in the Katherine region by Coffey Consultants, testing is now occurring on Katherine Town Council facilities.

PFAS has been used for decades in hundreds of industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, apparels, upholstery, food paper wrappings, fire-fighting foams and metal plating.

A regime of testing is now underway on Council facilities that may have levels of PFAS that could impact on human health. This is part of the overall investigation of PFAS use at RAAF Tindal Base by Coffey, in the Katherine Township. Ongoing monitoring and public reporting of all facilities is planned.


Recreational Facilities Results

The table below shows the concentration of PFAS in the water at the Katherine Aquatic Centre. Sampling at the Aquatic Centre was undertaken fortnightly to build baseline data and ensure that the water quality remains within the national health based guidance values (HBGV). The table will be updated with the results of ongoing testing as it becomes available. From May 2018 pool sampling was undertaken quarterly.

 

Council Facility Date Sampled Sampling Location Contaminant
PFOS/PFHxS PFOA
µg/l µg/l
Katherine Hot Springs 2/08/2017 Spring 0.04 <0.01
2/08/2017 Pool 1 0.05 <0.01
2/08/2017 Pool 2 0.04 <0.01
28/09/2017 Spring 0.04 0.02
28/09/2017 Pool 1 0.04 0.03
28/09/2017 Pool 2 0.03 0.02
8/11/2017 Spring 0.03 <0.01
8/11/2017 Pool 1 0.03 <0.01
8/11/2017
Pool 2 0.03 <0.01
16/12/2017 Spring 0.04 <0.01
16/12/2017 Pool 1  0.03 <0.01
16/12/2017 Pool 2   0.03 <0.01
7/02/2018
Spring 0.01 <0.01
 12/03/2018 Spring 0.03 <0.01
 1/05/2018  Spring  0.04  <0.01
   22/06/18 Spring 0.03 <0.01
  17/07/18  Spring 0.03 <0.01 
  7/08/18  Spring 0.03  <0.01 
  16/08/18  Spring  0.03  <0.01 



Aquatic Centre
7/09/2017 Swimming Pool 0.6 0.01
11/09/2017 Swimming Pool 0.54 <0.01
28/09/2017 Swimming Pool 0.84 0.02
11/10/2017 Swimming Pool 0.7 0.02
7/11/2017 Swimming Pool 0.27 <0.01
22/11/2017 Swimming Pool 0.19 <0.01
  5/12/2017 Swimming Pool 0.17 <0.01
  21/12/2017 Swimming Pool 0.11 <0.01
  15/01/2018 Swimming Pool 0.11 <0.01
  30/01/2018 Swimming Pool  0.09 <0.01
  12/02/2018 Swimming Pool  0.08 <0.01
  26/02/2018 Swimming Pool
  0.07   <0.01 
   12/03/2018 Swimming Pool
 0.07 <0.01
  4/04/2018 Swimming Pool
 0.08 <0.01
  23/04/18  Swimming Pool 0.08 <0.01
  4/05/18  Swimming Pool  0.11 <0.01
  20/06/18  Swimming Pool 0.1 <0.01
  17/07/18 Swimming Pool  0.11 <0.01
  7/08/18 Swimming Pool 0.12 <0.01
  16/08/18  Swimming Pool 0.09 <0.01

Katherine Town Council Bores - Results

As part of the ongoing communication and advocacy for our community, Council has chosen to provide the results of the PFAS bore readings for Council managed irrigation bores. As a precautionary measure, where the readings show any detectable level of PFAS, Council will identify and implement measures to reduce potential exposure of the water to the community as a matter of priority.

Of note is the result from bore RN033019 (Civic Centre Big) - We asked for clarification from the Department of Defence, who provided the statement below.

Bore RN033019 (Civic Centre Big) retunred a positve reading and is located on the Darwin side of the Katherine river. The Department of Defence provided the statement below.

"This deep bore is within the original investigation area and is the only detectable result on the western side of the Katherine River. It may be impacted due to deep flow from the eastern side of the river going under the river before discharging through springs on the western side. The shallow bore on the same property was a non-detect. Sampling was done through the sprinkler system as there was no direct bore access, so the influence of the pipes is also being considered. Defence is investigating other deep bores in the area to confirm the limited extent next to the river. Most private bores in the area are shallow, and none that have been tested have detected PFAS."


Registered Number Bore Date Sampled Contaminant
PFOS/PFHxS
µg/l
RN007437 Sportsgrounds Bore 3 October 2017 1.06
RN021099 Museum – DCA Small October 2017 0.15
RN030662 Roney Park October 2017 0.56
RN020119 Sportsgrounds Bore 1 October 2017 0.54


October 2017 1.08
RN022836 Grevillea Park October 2017 0.46
RN031131 Waste Management Facility May 2017 0.14
    October 2017 0.06
RN022027 Dakota Park October 2017 0.19
RN022130 Lockheed Park October 2017 0.16
RN020118 Showgrounds Big October 2017 0.35
RN004881 Showgrounds Small October 2017 0.24
RN022025 Jukes Park October 2017 0.2
RN033757 Police Bore October 2017 1.16
RN033019 Civic Centre Big October 2017 0.2
RN022486 Civic Centre Small October 2017 Not Detected

 

Soil Samples

The table below shows the concentration of PFAS in the soil samples from KTC parks and open spaces irrigated by bore water:  


DRAFT in progress>>>>>


      Date Sampled Contaminant
Sampling Location   Sampling Point  Sampling Depth PFOS/PFHxS PFOA
    (m)  µg/l µg/l
Jukes Crescent  1 0.0 21/03/2018 <5
<5
Jukes Crescent  1 0.2 21/03/2018
<5 <5
Jukes Crescent  2 0.0 21/03/2018 <5
8.9
Jukes Crescent
2 0.2 21/03/2018
<5
<5
Jukes Crescent
3 0.0 21/03/2018
<5
<5
Jukes Crescent   3 0.2 21/03/2018  <5 <5
Jukes Crescent   4 0.0 21/03/2018 <5   <5
Jukes Crescent
 4 0.2 21/03/2018
 <5 <5 
Jukes Crescent   5 0.0 21/03/2018
 <5  <5
Jukes Crescent
 5 0.2 21/03/2018
<5
<5
Prior Park 1 0.0 21/03/2018
<5 <5
Prior Park
1 0.2 21/03/2018
<5 <5
Prior Park
2 0.0 21/03/2018
<5 <5
Prior Park
2 0.2 21/03/2018 <5 <5
Prior Park
3 0.0 21/03/2018 <5 <5
Prior Park
3 0.2 21/03/2018
<5 <5
Prior Park
4 0.0 21/03/2018
<5
<5
Prior Park
4 0.2 21/03/2018
<5
<5
Prior Park
5 0.0 21/03/2018
<5
<5
Prior Park
5 0.2 21/03/2018
 <5 <5
Oval 1  1 0.0 21/03/2018 <5 15
Oval 1  1 0.2 22/03/2018 <5 5.3 
Oval 1  2 0.0 22/03/2018 <5 16
Oval 1  2 0.2 22/03/2018 <5 9
Oval 1  3 0.0 22/03/2018  <5 14
Oval 2  1  0.0 22/03/2018 <5 <5
Oval 2  1  0.2 22/03/2018
 <5 <5 
Oval 2  2  0.0 22/03/2018
 <5 17
Oval 2  2  0.2 22/03/2018
 <5 19
Oval 2  3  0.0 22/03/2018
 <5 <5
Oval 2  3  0.2 22/03/2018
 <5 <5
Oval 3          
Oval 3          
Oval 3          
Oval 3          
Oval 3          
Stuart Hwy medium          
           
     


Katherine River
The table below shows the concentration of PFAS in the water within the Katherine River at the three sampling points: Knotts Crossing, Stuart highway Bridge and Galloping Jacks:

 

Sampling Point Date Sampled Contaminant
PFOS/PFHxS PFOA
µg/l µg/l
Knotts Crossing

7/07/2017 <0.01
<0.01
12/10/2017 0.03 <0.01
15/12/2017 <0.01
<0.01
6/02/2018 <0.01
<0.01
21/03/2018 <0.01
<0.01
1/05/2018 <0.01
<0.01

Stuart Highway Bridge
7/07/2017 0.04 <0.01
12/10/2017 0.11 <0.01
15/12/2017 <0.01 <0.01
6/02/2018 <0.01
<0.01
21/03/2018 <0.01
<0.01
1/05/2018 0.03
<0.01
  17/07/18  0.08 0.05
       
  9/08/2017  0.1 <0.01
  30/08/2017  0.09 <0.01 
  18/10/2017   0.16 0.01
Galloping Jacks  15/12/2017  0.07 <0.01
  1/02/2018  <0.01 <0.01
  20/03/2018  <0.01 <0.01
  1/05/2018  0.05 <0.01


Useful Information and links
The national Health Based Guidance Value (HBGV) for PFOS/PFHxS for recreational use is 0.7 micrograms per Litre (µg/L). For PFOA the HBGV is 5.6µg/L for recreational use. For further information about the national HBGVs view the Department of Health Fact Sheet Health Based Guidance Values for PFAS.

For further information in regards the PFAS Investigation & Management Program being conducted by the Department of Defence please visit http://www.defence.gov.au/Environment/pfas/default.asp 
The Northern Territory Department of Health has released dietary advice relating to wild-caught fish species sourced from the Katherine area that potentially contain per-and-poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

The dietary advice includes suggested serving sizes and information about how frequently you can consume some types of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. To access the advice, visit: https://nt.gov.au/industry/hospitality/food-safety-and-regulations/eating-fish-containing-pfas-chemicals

More information on PFAS and the Department of Defence’s environmental investigation into PFAS at RAAF Base Tindal can be found by visiting the following sites:
If you have questions relating to wild-caught fish and crustaceans in the Katherine region, contact the NTG Environmental Health on 1800 095 646 or email envirohealth@nt.gov.au.

Alternatively, if you have questions relating to Defence’s environmental investigation, contact the information line on 1800 316 813 or via return email. 


Katherine PFAS Community Consultation Group

The Katherine PFAS Community Consultation Group (KPCCG) has been established to provide a mechanism for two-way communication with the community. The KPCCG will help with the timely sharing of the latest information relating to PFAS and receiving community specific information first hand from community representatives.

Please find below the links to the agendas and minutes of the Katherine PFAS Community Consultation Group:

KPCCG - Agenda - 17 October 2017

KPCCG - Minutes_Action Register - 17 October 2017

KPCCG - Agenda - 14 November 2017

KPCCG - Minutes_Action Register - 14 November 2017

KPCCG - Agenda - 5 December 2017

KPCCG - Minutes_Action Register_Tabled Reports - 5 December 2017

KPCCG - Agenda - 6 February 2018

KPCCG - Minutes_Actions Register_Tabled Reports - 6 February 2018

KPCCG - Agenda - 1 May 2018

KPCCG - Minutes_Action Register_Tabled Reports - 1 May 2018

KPCCG - Agenda - 19 June 2018

Katherine compulsory water conservation measures

Please click here to see Power and Water compulsory water conversation measures in Katherine.