1970’s – 1980’s: Kwinana Groundwater. Pesticides: 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D

Groundwater monitoring at CIK (Kwinana) Pty Ltd

In the late 1970s, routine sampling and analysis of water from shallow aquifers in the BP (Australia) Ltd site at Kwinana found elevated levels of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T herbicide. Further sampling of the area found some extremely high levels of these herbicides in ground water, particularly from the pesticide manufacturer CIK (Kwinana) Pty Ltd. This company operated on a site adjacent to BP on the east.

Investigation showed that a considerable area of shallow (20 m) groundwater was contaminated with these chemicals to varying degrees. Some of the levels were well over the MRL’s for potable water. The source of the contamination was the pond into which CIK (Kwinana) discharged its manufacturing and formulation wastes.

It was eventually decided that CIK (Kwinana) should dispose of its wastes by injection into a deep bore, but not until 1986, and by then the company had been taken over by Nufarm Ltd.

Routine monitoring of all the bores in the area has been taking place over the last ten years, and is continuing, with samples to be taken at 3 monthly intervals.

P47 Monitoring Pesticides – A Review – A Report to the Environmental Protection Authority by Peter A Rutherford. Environment Protection Authority. Perth Western Australia. Bulletin 407. December 1989.