Helping businesses protect groundwater and wetlands

Businesses in Neerabup and the Yanchep will be given advice on how to keep contaminants out of groundwater and wetlands. Picture: Anita McInnes

INSPECTIONS are being carried out in industrial areas including Neerabup to ensure businesses are disposing of contaminants such as oils and degreasers, paints, detergents, radiator coolants and pesticides correctly.

City of Wanneroo planning and sustainability director Mark Dickson said all industrial areas within the city would be included, with areas of the highest environmental risk prioritised.

As well as Neerabup, areas such as the Yanchep light industrial area and the Wangara and Landsdale industrial areas will also be included.

He said the main focus of the program was educating businesses to improve work practises to prevent contamination of groundwater and wetlands.

“The city’s environmental health officers are being accompanied on the inspections by an officer from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) who is providing training and advice on relevant legislative requirements,’’ he said.

“The DWER officer finishes the training and advice program at the end of June 2019 at which time the city will incorporate the inspection program into its business-as-usual activities.”

The city’s testing includes for phosphorous, nitrogen and heavy metals.

“The city tests stormwater entering the Yellagonga wetlands (Lake Joondalup and Goollelal) as well as testing water in the wetlands.

“Testing includes phosphorous, nitrogen and heavy metals.’’

Mayor Tracey Roberts said education was the key to limiting environmental damage caused by contaminants entering waterways. “Stormwater drains lead to our waterways,” she said.

“Unfortunately when groundwater is contaminated, it goes through to our lakes system, which is very close to Wangara in particular.

“Our wetlands are an extremely precious natural asset highly valued by the city and the community – protecting them from contaminants is vital.”

Mr Dickson said the last enforcement action taken by the city under the Environmental Protection (Unauthorised Discharges) Regulations 2004 was in 2012.

“This does not include enforcement action undertaken by DWER.’’

He said a simple way for businesses to effectively manage wastewater was with the installation of a vehicle wash down bay, which captured and treated contaminated water.

Anyone needing further information or advice can call the City of Wanneroo’s health services on 9405 5000.