10/11/2011: Elizabeth (South Australia). Contaminated groundwater. Trichloroethylene

Note: unlikely to have contaminated drinking water

Holden warns of contaminated groundwater

November 10 2011


Car maker Holden has warned property owners around its Elizabeth assembly plant in Adelaide against using possibly contaminated groundwater.

In a letter presented to property owners the company said it had identified historical contamination under its site with the detection of industrial solvents previously used for cleaning metal parts and plastics.

Holden said it had found trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethene (PCE) at identifiable levels in groundwater about 18to 20 metres under the plant.

Low levels of both chemicals had also been found at the northeastern boundary of the company’s property and of TCE at the northern boundary.

“The risk posed by these chemicals is low given the concentrations that have been detected,” Holden told property owners.

“Nevertheless, we have notified (the) Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and are working with the EPA on this historical issue and are undertaking further testing and sampling of the contamination.”

Holden said it was in the process of determining where to sink test bores and warned against the use of bore water for any purpose until further notice.

“Please be assured that your health and safety are our top priority,” the company told property owners.

The EPA said it was previously notified of the contamination under the Holden site in February but had since been provided with further information by the company.

Acting chief executive Tony Circelli there were no bores on residential properties within the investigation area but there were some commercial bores.