What is the issue?
The issue is that some related chemicals (perfluorinated compounds) have been used and remain in the environment around the Williamtown RAAF site.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has informed the NSW government that the Williamtown site has been found to contain high concentrations of PFOS and other closely related chemicals. These chemicals are present on the site and over the past decades have slowly worked their way through the soil to the groundwater underneath the site. These substances have not only contaminated the RAAF site itself, but also land close to the site.
Surface water samples from Dawsons Drain, Moors Drain, Upper Tilligerry Creek and Fourteen Foot Drain have been found to contain PFOS. Ground water and fish from the local creeks were tested for PFOS and were found to contain high levels. Tomago sands, a drinking water catchment site is close to the Williamtown site.
The NSW Government is investigating this issue. This factsheet is interim advice by NSW Health and will be updated as further investigations are undertaken.
What areas are potentially affected?
See attached map for the area with potentially affected groundwater and for the location of fishery closures. Further testing will be undertaken to clearly identify areas of potential health risk