Help needed to catch water reserve oil dumper
Released 29 Mar 2018
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation wants to hear from anyone who might have information on those responsible for dumping fuel in native bushland near Bullsbrook last week, risking contamination of drinking water supplies.
Drums of used oil, diesel and engine filters were found discarded and leaking in the bushland by a member of the public who reported it to the department’s Pollution Watch Hotline.
Quick action in reporting the leaking fuel resulted in Pollution Response officers being dispatched to the scene immediately to take action to prevent impacts to groundwater in the area and collect evidence.
The department’s Executive Director of Compliance and Enforcement Stuart Cowie said it’s believed the dumping occurred in the early evening of Friday 23 March 2018 in bushland on Warbrook Road in Melaleuca which is in a Priority 1 drinking water source zone of the Gnangara Underground Water Pollution Control Area.
“We are hoping that someone may have seen vehicles in the area at the time or heard someone talking about this,” he said.
Mr Cowie said there is no excuse for illegal dumping anywhere, but discarding oil and diesel into a protected groundwater area for Perth’s drinking water supply had the potential to not just damage the environment, but the water we use for drinking.
“A tiny amount of oil can ruin a water source and there were hundreds of litres in this dumping alone,” Mr Cowie said.
“In this particular area the aquifer is very close to the surface, and this amount of fuel could have been catastrophic for its use as a drinking water supply.”
Mr Cowie thanked the member of the public who reported the incident and also to officers from the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions who assisted in the response clean up.
“By allowing us to respond quickly to this event we were able to commence a clean-up before the fuel and oil had time to seep into the groundwater,” he said.
“These activities pose an unacceptable risk to environmental and human health and we need assistance from the public to catch the culprits.
“It’s not the first time that the area has been used for illegal dumping and we’d like to ask the locals to keep an eye on suspicious activity and to ring the department if they have seen anything unusual.”
If you have any information regarding the dumping of these drums or any illegal dumping, please call the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation 24 hour Pollution Watch hotline on 1300 784 782.
Phone: 0437 228 870