Former Spotswood Terminal Groundwater Restriction Zone

Mobil is currently investigating the groundwater conditions close to its former Spotswood Terminal.

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Former Spotswood Terminal Groundwater Restriction Zone

Mobil is currently investigating the groundwater conditions close to its former Spotswood Terminal located at 44 – 76 Simcock Avenue, Spotswood.

The former Terminal was used as fuel and chemical distribution terminal until operations ceased in 2009. Since then, we have demolished all infrastructure. Investigation and remediation work has been completed under the oversight of the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria (EPA) and its appointed Environmental Auditor. The Environmental Audit Report is expected to be submitted to the EPA by the end of April 2023 and, subsequently, will be publicly available on the EPA’s website.

In line with requirements of the EPA, we have been conducting environmental investigations to also understand any potential impacts to nearby surrounding soil and groundwater. The initial environmental investigations indicate that the local groundwater may have been impacted by the terminal’s historical operations. As a result, the Auditor has recommended restricted use of groundwater in this area. The map below outlines the area which is impacted by this restriction.

Mobil will continue to assess the situation by testing the groundwater from our current and additional groundwater monitoring wells in the local area. Mobil will post updates as our ongoing investigations progress and when there is a change to the groundwater use in the area. Throughout this process Mobil will continue to engage with the EPA to develop any necessary future assessment plans and longer-term management plans based on the results of these investigations.

Groundwater Restriction Zones in Victoria

Defining an area of restricted groundwater use is a routine EPA Victoria response to groundwater contamination resulting from past industrial activity.  There are over 100 restricted use areas across Victoria, including several already declared within the Hobsons Bay City Council area.  The purpose of these areas is to limit use of groundwater bores in areas where groundwater quality is affected.
Further generalised information on areas of restricted groundwater use, and groundwater contamination in general, is available here on the EPA Victoria website.

Groundwater in the Restriction Zone

The groundwater in the affected area is naturally at around 8 metres deep and is too salty for human consumption regardless of the presence of residual contamination.

Based on our searches, there are no registered bores (for any use) in the affected area.  The land-use setting and availability of mains water suggests it is unlikely the groundwater will be used in the future.

However, our investigations indicate that the groundwater is impacted by chemicals associated with the former terminal. The primary chemicals present in groundwater are dissolved organics, dissolved heavy metals, and light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL). Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have also been detected. The map below illustrates where these substances have been detected.

Property owners or occupants have been notified that groundwater should not be extracted and used until further notice.