PRECIOUS METAL REFINERY, Newburn, Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia, WA Investigation, risk assessment, remedial design, groundwater contamination - HydroSolutions
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PRECIOUS METAL REFINERY, Newburn, Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia, WA Investigation, risk assessment, remedial design, groundwater contamination

PRECIOUS METAL REFINERY, Newburn, Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia, WA Investigation, risk assessment, remedial design, groundwater contamination

THIS IS AN HISTORICAL PROJECT

A phased groundwater investigation was undertaken of impacts from leakage of gold refinery effluent at the Perth Airport. An initial hydrogeological audit reviewed site operations, historical spillages & existing monitoring data, leading to the development of a phased
investigation program.

An EM34 geophysical survey broadly defined anomalous areas of contrasting electrical conductivity. A bore investigation & sampling
program identified the extent of a groundwater contaminant plume comprising excess electrical conducitvityEC, acidic pH and a variety of metals in particulate & dissolved forms extending approximately 400m west from the refinery.

The plume was impacting a surface water & groundwater flood control drain. Sampling of surface waters & sediments in conjunction with
consultants ERS at regular intervals identified an impact zone over an approximate 250m length, where metal concentrations exceeded applicable environmental guidelines.

A detailed groundwater & surface water monitoring program was initiated, together with a risk assessment study, including:

-Ecological assessment of the impact zone & downstream areas
surrounding the drain
-Sampling exercise to determine downstream surface water
quality
-A surface water management plan to prevent or minimise
effluent discharges
-A numerical groundwater modeling and contaminant transport simulation exercise to assess the significance of plume
-contribution to surface water quality and the potential for natural
attenuation
-A metal ecotoxicology assessment in conjunction with CSIRO

The risk assessment program will identify the
requirements for the implementation of a future
remedial action plan.

Stuart Jeffries
Hydrosolutions Pty Ltd

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Case Study: Contaminated Sites

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