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31 October 2008
The Director EPA Warren Jones has met representatives from Public Health, the West Coast Council and Oz Minerals to identify the next steps required to resolve the concerns of Rosebery residents over water pooling on their properties. Mr Jones said officers representing the EPA have previously collected water and soil samples for analysis and the results for water found elevated levels of aluminium, iron, zinc and lead. "These results were similar to those for the sample collected by the residents but the pattern of some metals was higher while for others it was lower, "Mr Jones said. The soil sampling results also found some metals were elevated, specifically zinc and lead. Mr Jones said he called the meeting to review all the information available to date and to agree on the further actions to be taken. "Advice from the Director of Public Health indicates that the residents' lead in blood levels are within normal range, while the West Coast Council reported that drinking water had been tested at the properties and found to meet appropriate standards," said Mr Jones. "The residents have been provided updated information about the latest results and will continue to be kept informed." Mr Jones said the cause of the elevated levels of metals is still unclear but the water has some characteristics of acid rock drainage which could result from groundwater seepage through the mineralised rocks or fill in the area. "I am writing a letter to the West Coast Council requesting its assistance to further investigate the source of the water but also take this opportunity to improve drainage works to eliminate the pooling of water on one of the properties," Mr Jones said. "I am confident that Council will respond positively to this request." Mr Jones said officers representing the EPA will also undertake additional soil and water sampling to assist the Director of Public Health with his ongoing investigations. Officers representing the Director of Public Health will meet the residents in the next two weeks to help them resolve their current issues.