Leaked chemicals found in dam water beyond original contamination zone

INDEPENDENT testing has revealed the presence of teflon fire fighting chemicals in dam water from outside the existing contamination zone around the Williamtown RAAF base.

The results have led to calls for more extensive community testing as well as an extension of the contamination zone.

The water sample collected from Heath and Sarah Buman’s dam on Nelson Bay Road tested positive for both PFOA and PFOS, the two chemicals previously used in fire fighting foam at the base.

The levels found in the water, which the family use to water vegetables and chickens, were below those considered a risk to human health.

Mrs Buman said the contaminated water spilled over a levee bank from Moors Drain into the dam.

Moors drain carries water from the base to Tilligerry Creek.

‘‘We have been trying to get the RAAF base to do something about the flooding problem for a long time but they just ignore us,’’ Mrs Buman said.

‘‘I wasn’t really surprised when we got the test results. It’s such a widespread problem.’’

Mrs Buman said she was disappointed with the level of information that government authorities had provided to the community about the contamination risk.

‘‘I was very disappointed with the recent public meeting; they are giving us the minium of information they can,’’ she said.

Port Stephens MP Kate Washington said the Buman family’s positive test result made a mockery of the existing contamination zone.

‘‘It says to me that the EPA didn’t even read the report about the contamination at the RAAF base,’’ she said.

‘‘The EPA didn’t even know where Moors drain was when I first spoke with them to talk about this issue.’’

A public meeting for concerned community members to share information about the contamination crisis will be held at Tomago Bowling Club at 6pm on Wednesday September 30. 


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