Final results on soil contamination at Helensburgh building site delayed

The building site at Helensburgh which has come under scrutiny due to contamination and health concerns. Picture: Adam McLean
The building site at Helensburgh which has come under scrutiny due to contamination and health concerns. Picture: Adam McLean

The final results of contamination tests at a Helensburgh building site which sparked health concerns will not be known for months.

Last week, Wollongong City Council wrote to residents near 98A Parkes Street to advise them that a final report on soil, vapour and groundwater testing will not be available until July.

A multi-level government investigation was instigated when residents reported a ‘’putrid odour’’ emanating from the property during excavation for a new development. Residents claimed there was a high rate of cancer cases in the site vicinity.

The council said it would have results about potential contamination “within weeks”, and while initial EPA testing did not find any ‘’contaminants of concern’’, it says further results from environmental consultants Coffey will now take longer.

“We understand that the delays in getting a final result are frustrating,” planning director Andrew Carfield wrote. “We wish to assure residents that this process will give a very clear picture on any potential contaminants that may exist on the site, as well as if any further sampling and analysis is required and what, if any, remediation may be required.”

Mr Carfield said Coffey had taken 11 soil samples from the site and six from the surrounding area in April, and would return to the site on Tuesday this week “to conduct test pitting in response to concerns about potentially buried waste”.

“Once our testing has been completed, the NSW EPA Accredited Site Auditor will be undertaking a complete assessment of the results of all studies taken to date, as well as those being undertaken by Coffey,” Mr Carfield’ds letter said.

Read more: