Remediation of former landfill sites

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Friday, 13 March 2020

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Central Coast, like many regions across the country, has numerous open space and sporting facilities that are former landfill sites, a legacy from the 1960s and ‘70s.

These landfill sites (also known as tips) 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 the sites to enable future recreational uses. 

Former landfill sites across the region include Magenta Shores golf course, Bateau Bay Sporting Complex and Pat Morley Oval.

We closely monitor these sites for possible contamination and health risks; a standard practice for managing historical landfill sites such as these. 

In May 2018 we engaged an independent environmental consultant to carry out voluntary environmental audits of former landfill sites in the south of the region in order to identify potential contamination issues. 

During the investigation, contamination was found in groundwater and surface water was observed above national contamination guidelines levels at:

  • Adcock Park, West Gosford
  • Hylton Moore Park, East Gosford
  • Frost Reserve, Kincumber 

Landfill gases were also found at the parks above chosen guideline levels as well. 

Council also notified three other sites to the EPA; Austin Butler Memorial Oval, James Brown Oval and Rogers Park all at Woy Woy. These were assessed and deemed to not require regulation.

The contamination was reported to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) as required under Section 60 of Contaminated Land Management Act. 

Following further testing, the EPA have identified these areas as Contaminated Lands due to the presence of ammonia, per and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) and landfill gases (carbon dioxide and methane). 

There is currently no evidence that this contamination is a risk to your health. The parks are safe to continue using for sporting and recreational activities. 

As some contamination is known to have impacted surface waters at the parks, people and animals should avoid consumption of water. 

Town water supplies in the area are not impacted and are safe to drink. 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.

A Voluntary Management Proposal will be submitted to EPA for approval by the end of April 2020, outlining details of further investigation and long-term solutions and strategies to address the contamination. This will be done in conjunction with an experienced and certified environmental consultant, with oversight from both the EPA and an accredited auditor. 

We will fully cooperate with the EPA and follow their recommendations. We will also keep you informed of further developments.

If you have further questions you can:

Garnet Adcock Memorial Park, West Gosford

Covering around 23 hectares, it is believed Adcock Park was a landfill site sometime between 1957 and 1975 and has been a sporting facility and used for open space activities since closure. 

Contaminants on site above guidelines are:

  • Ammonia found in groundwater and surface water
  • PFAS present in groundwater wells  
  • Methane and carbon dioxide measured above trigger levels near onsite amenities

Hylton Moore Park, East Gosford 

Covering around 27 hectares, it is believed Hylton Moore Park was a landfill site sometime 1975 and 1985 and has been used as a sporting facility and open space since closure. 

Contaminants on site above guidelines are:

  • Ammonia found in groundwater and surface water
  • PFAS present in groundwater wells and surface drains
  • Carbon dioxide measured above trigger levels near the skate park

Frost Reserve, Kincumber

Covering around 3.8 hectares, it is believed Frost Reserve was a landfill sometime between 1975 and 1986 and has been used as a sporting facility and open space since closure. 

Contaminants on site above guidelines are:

  • Ammonia found in groundwater and surface water
  • PFAS present in groundwater and surface water drains 
  • Methane carbon dioxide measured above trigger levels near the skate park and landfill boundary
  • Leachate is present in an onsite drainage channel

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Last updated : Mon 6 Apr 2020