Deniliquin Site - Environmental investigation

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has commenced investigation works at the Deniliquin firefighting training site (located off Macknight Drive) to better understand the presence of presence of per- and fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on and around this site. The training site is located within Deniliquin Airport which is owned by Edward River Council.

The main objective of this investigation is to identify the presence, nature and extent of PFAS in the environment from the use of historical aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) at the site. Investigation findings will be used to identify site-specific management actions to address potential PFAS impacts.

The following stages of the investigation have now been completed. Documents are available under the reports section below.

  • In August 2016, a Preliminary Site Investigation and Sampling and Analysis Quality Plan (PDF) was completed, including a review of historical AFFF use and identification of potential sources of PFAS.
  • An Environmental Site Assessment (PDF) was completed in April 2017. This included onsite and offsite sampling and laboratory analysis of groundwater, surface water, soils and sediments to further understand the pathways for potential migration of PFAS from the site.
  • In October 2017, a more detailed Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment (PDF) was completed with additional onsite and offsite sampling conducted to allow further understanding of the pathways for potential PFAS migration.
  • As part of this detailed assessment, the community was asked to assist FRNSW investigations by completing a water use survey (PDF) to help identify how potentially contaminated water is being used. The survey was distributed to 13 people and a fact sheet was also distributed to 1,000 residents within a two-kilometre radius of the site. You can read this May 2017 fact sheet and others at the bottom of this page.
  • In December 2017, a PFAS Management Options Assessment (PDF) was prepared to provide a better understanding of the potential management options to address onsite and offsite impacts in soil, groundwater and surface water at the site.
  • A Land and Water Use Survey Report (PDF) was prepared in October 2019 after obtaining information from local landowners and property users about water use at their properties, particularly in relation to agricultural and industrial water use.
  • In November 2019, an Additional Monitoring (PDF) report of the site and surrounding area was completed, including sampling of groundwater, surface water and sediments. The main objective of this work was to obtain current monitoring data to inform PFAS trend analysis and refine the conceptual site model (CSM).
  • An action plan was developed in 2019 for the site and approved by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA). Updates are provided in the fact sheets below. Further monitoring to obtain current onsite and offsite data was also completed during Q4 2019.
  • Surface water flow modelling was undertaken in May 2022 to identify and understand the site's water flow paths and extents. This model has been utilised to target offsite drainage lines most likely to have experienced deposition of PFAS and to assist in future estimation of PFAS leaving the site and passing through the downgradient catchment.

Next Steps

Following the surface water modelling undertaken, a sampling analysis and quality plan (SAQP) is being developed to close out data gaps relating to the extent of onsite impacts and migration from various onsite sources.

This plan will be reviewed and approved by the NSW EPA accredited site auditor commissioned by FRNSW. It is anticipated that the SAQP will be implemented in 2023.


Fact sheets