Testing shows extent of contaminated water and soil near Palmerston North Airport
A banned toxic firefighting foam used at commercial airports has contaminated a Palmerston North stream, but at a low level.
In the second stage of testing, surface water was sampled and the toxic chemical was detected, including in Mangaone Stream, at low concentrations.
* Testing shows surface water and soil contaminated near Palmerston North Airport * Testing for contamination begins at commercial airports after banned firefighting foam found * Toxic foam found in fire trucks and storage at three more commercial airports * Nationwide investigation into toxic firefighting foam launched Further testing is now planned in the northern stream and southern drain, and the Mangaone Stream adjacent to the airport, to understand whether eels and other aquatic life have been affected.
The problem has since spread.
Sediment sampling from streams detected the toxic chemical in the northern stream and southern drain, but sediment in Mangaone Stream was not contaminated.
Ground water samples were also taken from 12 properties predominantly north and west of the airport, which had some reliance on bores for drinking water.
One tested indicated the presence of the toxic chemicals, but it was lower than drinking water guidelines.
MidCentral District Health Board Public Health Services advised swimming in potentially affected waterways did not pose a significant health risk.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said investigations into the toxic chemical in other countries hadn’t reported any ill effects on pets or livestock.