Newport community information

In 2006, Mobil identified and repaired a small hole in the No 1 Product Pipeline, which transports petrol between the Mobil Altona Refinery and the fuel terminals in Yarraville and Newport.


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Newport community information

There was a release of product associated with the small hole in the pipeline and in response Mobil is undertaking work to clean up the affected area. This work began in December 2006, and is done in close liaison with the EPA and the Hobsons Bay Council, among other authorities.

An independent environmental auditor has been appointed to oversee this work, and has prepared an environmental audit report that is available from the EPA. The report states that:
• there is no imminent risk of an environmental hazard in the area;
• there are no current health concerns for the community from soil or groundwater which may have been impacted by petrol;
• the remediation strategy proposed by Mobil is generally sound and appropriate;
• soil impacts are limited to service trenches around the original release site; and
• comprehensive air quality monitoring has been conducted and there are no issues for residential areas.

Mobil’s groundwater remediation in Newport

Mobil is undertaking a three-tiered remediation strategy aimed at providing an effective response to the environmental impacts of the original pipeline release, while also seeking to minimise the impact that ongoing remediation activities have on the community.

1. Petrol skimming using a portable skimmer system across the impacted area.
A mobile skimmer system works to continually remove petrol from the groundwater to the extent practicable. 

2. Pumping of water and petrol from the ground and treatment to remove the petrol and stabilise the groundwater impacts.  
Water and petrol is extracted and cleaned using a Groundwater Extraction and Treatment Plant located on Park Crescent.

3. An hydraulic barrier by reinjecting treated groundwater. 
Treated water re-injection has created a petrol attenuation barrier designed to manage migration of petrol impacted groundwater. This system was turned off in 2018 when testing of groundwater indicated it was no longer required due to reducing levels of petrol.

How the groundwater treatment system works
In 2007 Mobil commenced installation of infrastructure to manage the impacts from the 2006 release including groundwater extraction wells and a treatment system. 

Mobil then commissioned an expanded groundwater treatment system in 2012 to prevent the extension of groundwater impacts in the area and improve the efficiency with which petrol is removed from the groundwater.

The treatment system consists of a series of pumps, tanks and treatment facilities which are contained in a small compound located in Park Crescent.

Groundwater is extracted from the area via a large number of wells and connecting piping and pumped to the system compound where it is treated to remove petrol. Once treated, the groundwater is of similar quality to natural groundwater found throughout the Newport area.

Much of the extracted groundwater has been re-injected back into the aquifer via lines of injection wells along Park Crescent and Violet Street creating an attenuation barrier that has decreased the amount of impacted groundwater along Violet Street and Park Crescent.

Some of the treated groundwater was also discharged to the council stormwater system which discharges water to the Paisley Challis Wetlands. Small quantities of treated water are still periodically released to the wetlands.

In line with EPA requirements, the quality of the treated groundwater discharge is monitored to ensure no impacts on the local environment, including ongoing monitoring of the treated groundwater, assessments of the water quality and vegetation in the Paisley Challis Wetlands and water quality monitoring in Port Phillip Bay.

As the extent of petrol in groundwater has reduced, the extraction lines and injection lines have been systematically turned off with approval from the Auditor.  

Currently the groundwater treatment and extraction system’s extraction lines are either permanently shut down ready for decommissioning or in a trial shut down period prior to seeking permission from the independent Auditor to decommission. Fuel recovery work is continuing in the area close to the 2006 pipeline leak using skimming and vacuum extraction technology.

Once the Auditor has confirmed all work required  has been undertaken the remediation infrastructure will be decommissioned and removed.  

More information

Regular updates on the progress of our remediation efforts are provided in the Altona refinery community meetings held every quarter. Anyone interested in attending the next meeting can call 1800 659 527 for more information.

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