Sydney Water has commissioned two independent reports to ensure the safety of its Hillsdale site in Botany. The first report found the site was safe for recreational use and recommended further testing of a small part of the site. Sydney Water immediately commissioned further investigation by an independent NATA-accredited laboratory. This second report is now available on Sydney Water’s website and contains a number of recommendations. Sydney Water has begun implementing these, with all actions to be completed by December 31.

Why was further testing required?

While the initial tests showed the land was safe for recreational use, they also revealed that a small area on the eastern side of the site had contamination exceeding health-based guidelines.

Sydney Water commissioned a further investigation into the site by an independent NATA-accredited laboratory. This was above and beyond what was required, including two additional rounds of testing.

Why use a “recreational land use” standard?

The zoning of the land determines the appropriate standards that the site must meet. The land is zoned as recreational space and therefore we are undertaking actions so that the site meets the standards set for “recreational land use”.

What are the recommendations?

The report contains the following recommendations which Sydney Water has already begun implementing:

  • Remedial Action Plan to be completed before Christmas, comprising installation of a physical barrier between park users and the surface soils including a geotextile layer, capping and turf
  •  Additional inspection by a specialist hazardous materials professional to be conducted before the end of November
  • Preparation of an Environmental Management Plan for the entire site containing standard operating procedures for maintenance works
  • Asking Botany Council to maintain healthy grass coverage over the site.

What is Sydney Water doing about the recommendations?

Sydney Water will complete all recommendations by December 31. There are no drinking water pipes in the land and Sydney Water’s priority is protecting public health.

Where can I get a copy of the independent report?

The full report and results can be found here.

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