2005 June – 2012 October: Broken Creek Numurkah. Pesticides detected: PCP, Atrazine, Simazine and 2,4-D

Broken Creek Numurkah: Pollution of the town’s water supply, Broken Creek, occurred twice in 2005 detected at the offtake to the town. Pentachlorophenol (PCP) was detected at 1 µg/L in December and 2,4-D was detected at 17 µg/L in June. The 2,4-D reading was alarming.

The PCP reading came in at 10% of the Australian Drinking Water Guideline value. Pentachlorophenol is a chlorinated phenol and is a carcinogen, a suspected endocrine disruptor and has a high acute toxicity. The World Health Organisation class Pentachlorophenol as 1b (Highly Hazardous). PCP is known as being a wood preservative, a microbiocide, an algaecide, a fungicide and a molluscicide.

2,4-D is a chlorophenoxy compound, a possible carcinogen and suspected endocrine disruptor. 17ug/L is about 57% of the Australian Drinking Water Guideline.


Source below: Goulburn Valley Water FoI November 2016

Date Atrazine 2,4-D Simazine
19/08/2010 0.5
9/09/2010 0.7
9/09/2010 1
9/09/2010 0.3
9/09/2010 0.6
9/09/2010 0.9
16/09/2010 0.7
16/09/2010 0.8
24/02/2011 1.7
24/02/2011 1
10/03/2011 0.5
23/08/2012 0.7
23/08/2012 0.3
6/09/2012 0.5
6/09/2012 0.5
14/09/2012 0.1
17/09/2012 0.1
11/10/2012 0.1
11/10/2012 0.7
11/10/2012 0.6
18/10/2012 0.2
18/10/2012 0.2
18/10/2012 0.1

Arrowhead Spraying Program

At a meeting of the Pesticides Review Committee on 4 September, approval was given to a proposal by the Commission to spray arrowhead in the Broken and Nine Mile Creeks with 2,4,-D during 1981-82. Although not stated in the resolution, I am confident it was intended that approval be subject to agreement between the Commission and Environment Protection Authority on a water sampling program to detect any residues of 2,4-D.

*** recently informed me that spraying has started but plans for analysing water samples, or in other ways estimating residue levels, are not complete. The Commission could therefore be criticized on the grounds that it is spraying in an unacceptable way. However, it is pointed out that this program has been undertaken each year since the late sixties and was approved by the Pesticides Review Committee on a number of occasions during the early part of this period.

If spraying is to continue, it is my view that agreement should be reached immediately between the Commission and Environment Protection Authority on a program for measuring herbicide residues in water; otherwise the spraying should be suspended until such a time as agreement is reached.