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Edwardstown and surrounding areas

The EPA wrote to residents living in Edwardstown and surrounding suburbs as part of the consultation on the use of groundwater.

For background information, please have a look at our assessment areas pages.

The EPA wrote to residents living in Edwardstown and surrounding suburbs as part of the consultation on the use of groundwater.

For background information, please have a look at our assessment areas pages.

  • EPA has established a groundwater prohibition area

    7 months ago

    Following on from our community consultation the EPA has now established a groundwater prohibition area.

    Under section 103S of the Environment Protection Act 1993, the EPA may prohibit or restrict the taking of groundwater if it may be harmful to human health or safety.

    Before a final decision was made, the EPA consulted with the local community to provide information and seek feedback on the proposal (please see the community engagement report to the right of this screen).

    The engagement process was effective in helping the EPA to understand issues that are important to the local community in regards...

    Following on from our community consultation the EPA has now established a groundwater prohibition area.

    Under section 103S of the Environment Protection Act 1993, the EPA may prohibit or restrict the taking of groundwater if it may be harmful to human health or safety.

    Before a final decision was made, the EPA consulted with the local community to provide information and seek feedback on the proposal (please see the community engagement report to the right of this screen).

    The engagement process was effective in helping the EPA to understand issues that are important to the local community in regards to managing the legacy of contaminated groundwater. Many residents indicated that they think banning access to contaminated groundwater is a good idea, to prevent exposure to the chemicals of concern. A change in the depth of the proposed prohibition area occurred as a result the engagement program, enabling residents that access deeper uncontaminated groundwater to continue to do so.

    This prohibition on the extraction of groundwater was published in the South Australian Government Gazette on 9 January 2018.

    We are always interested in hearing from our local communities. If you missed our formal engagement period, and any feedback, questions or concerns, please get in touch with us on:

    • Phone: 1800 729 175
    • Email
    • In person: 211 Victoria Square (please make an appointment for building access)
  • Community engagement report now complete

    7 months ago
    Rachel shorter 3


    The EPA implemented a comprehensive community engagement plan on 7 August 2017, to engage with residents, landowners and key stakeholders in regards to a proposed groundwater prohibition area in Edwardstown and surrounding areas.

    A range of methods were employed to seek feedback about the proposed groundwater prohibition area from individuals and organisations, including Government agencies, environment and community organisations, industry and the local residents and landowners.

    A report on the community engagement is now available for download in the document library to the right of this page. Whilst the community information sessions have already occurred we are more than happy to answer any questions you might have in person, via email or by phone:

    • Phone 1800 729 175
    • Email
    • 211 Victoria Square (please ring ahead to make an appointment as there is no reception in this building)


    The EPA implemented a comprehensive community engagement plan on 7 August 2017, to engage with residents, landowners and key stakeholders in regards to a proposed groundwater prohibition area in Edwardstown and surrounding areas.

    A range of methods were employed to seek feedback about the proposed groundwater prohibition area from individuals and organisations, including Government agencies, environment and community organisations, industry and the local residents and landowners.

    A report on the community engagement is now available for download in the document library to the right of this page. Whilst the community information sessions have already occurred we are more than happy to answer any questions you might have in person, via email or by phone:

    • Phone 1800 729 175
    • Email
    • 211 Victoria Square (please ring ahead to make an appointment as there is no reception in this building)

  • Find out more about groundwater prohibition areas

    11 months ago
    Child feet splashing mud

    The aim of a groundwater prohibition area is to eliminate the pathway between contaminated groundwater and human exposure to chemicals of concern.

    Chlorinated hydrocarbons in groundwater in Edwardstown and the surrounding areas are extremely persistent in the environment. They are denser than water and leach through soil and groundwater. They are volatile, carcinogenic and present a potential risk to human health if groundwater is utilised for drinking, showering, washing, filling swimming pools, watering lawns (as above) or home-grown produce.

    As recently as the 1980s, chemicals used by industry were simply tipped down drains and poured onto soil to evaporate. There was a lack of awareness about the long-term impacts this could have but today these practices are prohibited by legislation.

    Each state has its own legislation to manage the legacy of groundwater contamination and the approach varies from state to state. Victoria for example, uses ‘groundwater quality restricted use zones’, and there are well over 100 zones in the Melbourne area (see the Victorian EPA for the map).

    Under South Australian legislation, if groundwater is affected by contamination and there is a likelihood that it may be used for domestic or irrigation purposes, the EPA has powers under the Environment Protection Act 1993 to establish a groundwater prohibition area to protect both future and current landholders.

    The EPA established South Australia’s first groundwater prohibition area in Allenby Gardens–Flinders Park on 13 June 2013, after a 90-day consultation with residents. Groundwater from the first and second Quaternary aquifers (0–30 m) is prohibited to be used for any purpose and a maximum penalty of $8,000 applies.

    There may be exceptions for groundwater monitoring or industrial use, and councils and schools typically use much deeper groundwater from the Tertiary aquifer, which is not affected by the contamination.


    The aim of a groundwater prohibition area is to eliminate the pathway between contaminated groundwater and human exposure to chemicals of concern.

    Chlorinated hydrocarbons in groundwater in Edwardstown and the surrounding areas are extremely persistent in the environment. They are denser than water and leach through soil and groundwater. They are volatile, carcinogenic and present a potential risk to human health if groundwater is utilised for drinking, showering, washing, filling swimming pools, watering lawns (as above) or home-grown produce.

    As recently as the 1980s, chemicals used by industry were simply tipped down drains and poured onto soil to evaporate. There was a lack of awareness about the long-term impacts this could have but today these practices are prohibited by legislation.

    Each state has its own legislation to manage the legacy of groundwater contamination and the approach varies from state to state. Victoria for example, uses ‘groundwater quality restricted use zones’, and there are well over 100 zones in the Melbourne area (see the Victorian EPA for the map).

    Under South Australian legislation, if groundwater is affected by contamination and there is a likelihood that it may be used for domestic or irrigation purposes, the EPA has powers under the Environment Protection Act 1993 to establish a groundwater prohibition area to protect both future and current landholders.

    The EPA established South Australia’s first groundwater prohibition area in Allenby Gardens–Flinders Park on 13 June 2013, after a 90-day consultation with residents. Groundwater from the first and second Quaternary aquifers (0–30 m) is prohibited to be used for any purpose and a maximum penalty of $8,000 applies.

    There may be exceptions for groundwater monitoring or industrial use, and councils and schools typically use much deeper groundwater from the Tertiary aquifer, which is not affected by the contamination.

  • Do not use the bore water in this area

    11 months ago
    Map4


    Groundwater (bore water) in this area should not be used for any purpose. Contaminants identified within the area, and include perchloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE) and its degradation products, dichloroethene (DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). Additional chemicals of concern are heavy metals, cyanide and petroleum hydrocarbons.

    Chlorinated hydrocarbons are extremely persistent in the environment and natural degradation is expected to take centuries worldwide. They are denser than water and leach through soil and groundwater. They are volatile, carcinogenic and present a potential risk to human health if groundwater is utilised for drinking, showering, washing, filling swimming pools, watering lawns or irrigation of edible produce.

    Historical chemical use has resulted in site contamination that affects soils on the source sites, groundwater on the source sites, and groundwater offsite in a west to north-westerly direction. Accessing groundwater adjacent to the contamination can also draw the contaminants towards the site from which it is being pumped.


    Groundwater (bore water) in this area should not be used for any purpose. Contaminants identified within the area, and include perchloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE) and its degradation products, dichloroethene (DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). Additional chemicals of concern are heavy metals, cyanide and petroleum hydrocarbons.

    Chlorinated hydrocarbons are extremely persistent in the environment and natural degradation is expected to take centuries worldwide. They are denser than water and leach through soil and groundwater. They are volatile, carcinogenic and present a potential risk to human health if groundwater is utilised for drinking, showering, washing, filling swimming pools, watering lawns or irrigation of edible produce.

    Historical chemical use has resulted in site contamination that affects soils on the source sites, groundwater on the source sites, and groundwater offsite in a west to north-westerly direction. Accessing groundwater adjacent to the contamination can also draw the contaminants towards the site from which it is being pumped.

  • What is the risk to residents?

    11 months ago
    Children playing in water sprinkler


    Poor quality and polluted groundwater can seriously threaten the health and viability of communities, agricultural operations and the environment. The EPA advises that the groundwater in this area is contaminated and should not be used for any purpose. Coming into contact with it can pose a risk to human health.

    This is especially the case if you ingest it by drinking it, use it to water your fruit and vegetables, wash your food or cook with it (even if it’s boiled). If it’s used to water the garden or lawns, fill a pool or top up a rainwater tank, it creates the opportunity for dermal exposure to the chemicals of concern with absorption through the skin.

    Contaminated groundwater should also never be used to wash down paths or the driveway or even as grey water such as toilet flushing. Preventing the extraction of contaminated groundwater is necessary to protect human health and also to prevent the spread of contamination. Spreading is caused by drawing water towards a property if the groundwater is being extracted from a bore.


    Poor quality and polluted groundwater can seriously threaten the health and viability of communities, agricultural operations and the environment. The EPA advises that the groundwater in this area is contaminated and should not be used for any purpose. Coming into contact with it can pose a risk to human health.

    This is especially the case if you ingest it by drinking it, use it to water your fruit and vegetables, wash your food or cook with it (even if it’s boiled). If it’s used to water the garden or lawns, fill a pool or top up a rainwater tank, it creates the opportunity for dermal exposure to the chemicals of concern with absorption through the skin.

    Contaminated groundwater should also never be used to wash down paths or the driveway or even as grey water such as toilet flushing. Preventing the extraction of contaminated groundwater is necessary to protect human health and also to prevent the spread of contamination. Spreading is caused by drawing water towards a property if the groundwater is being extracted from a bore.