Park groundwater contaminated

The creek running along Adcock Park Photo: Justin Stanley

Central Coast Council is finalising a plan to manage contaminated groundwater at three parks in the region but says there is no immediate health risk.

Adcock Park, West Gosford, Hylton Moore Park, East Gosford, and Frost Reserve, Kincumber, all built on former landfill sites, were found in March to have contamination above national guidelines by an independent environmental consultant engaged by Council in May, 2018.

The contamination was reported to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), which conducted further testing and identified the three parks as Contaminated Lands due to the presence of ammonia, per and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) and landfill gases (carbon dioxide and methane).

But Council says the parks are safe to continue using for sporting and recreational activities, although people and animals should avoid consumption of water.

“Town water supplies in the area are not impacted and are safe to drink,” the Council’s website says.

“This means if you are walking your dog you should provide it with clean (town) water.

“These sites have and will continue to be closely monitored for possible contamination and health risks.”

Signage at Adcock Park

The Coast has numerous open space and sporting facilities constructed over former landfill sites of the 1960s and 1970s.

The sites were typically located in low lying areas and used by the community to dispose of waste materials such as garden vegetation, building materials, and household waste prior to levelling off and capping for future recreational uses.

Council regularly monitors all sites for possible contamination and health risks.

Landfill gases above guideline levels were also found at the three parks.

Adcock Park, covering around 23 hectares, is believed to have been a landfill site sometime between 1957 and 1975.

Contaminants found on site included ammonia in groundwater and surface water; PFAs in groundwater wells; and methane and carbon dioxide measured above trigger levels near onsite amenities.

At Hylton Moore Park, ammonia was found in ground and surface water and PFAs were present in groundwater wells and surface drains.

Carbon dioxide above trigger levels was also located near the skate park.

The 27ha park was a landfill site sometime between 1975 and 1985.

At the 3.8ha Frost Reserve, used for landfill between 1975 and 1986, ammonia and PFAs were also found to be present, with methane carbon dioxide measured above trigger levels near the skate park and landfill boundary.

Leachate was found to be present in an onsite drainage channel.

A Council spokesperson said a draft Voluntary Management Proposal (VMP) was submitted to the EPA in April, outlining details of further investigation and long-term remediation solutions and strategies to address the contamination.

“Following feedback received from the EPA, Council staff are finalising the VMP which will be sent to EPA for final approval,” the spokesperson said.

“It is expected to be finalised and publicly available in June.”

Central Coast Council website, March 13
Media statement, Central Coast Council, Jun 5