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Work ramps up at Fiskville
The next phase of works to implement key recommendations from the Professor Rob Joy report on historical practices at CFA Training College – Fiskville is set to begin.
CFA is commencing work to upgrade the water supply and treatment systems on the site near Ballan.
These upgrades will minimise off site flows from Lake Fiskville and prepare for the installation of new water treatment facilities and the remediation of dams on the site.
It follows a briefing by Cardno Lane Piper to the management and staff at the Fiskville training facility yesterday on their findings to date following intense examinations of the site.
Significantly they found no contamination of groundwater, no buried drums in any of the suspected areas, two small areas with minor soil contamination and no risks associated with landfills on the site.
A small area of perched water, about 1-3 meters deep around one of the dams, was found to contain residues of fire suppression foams used in fire training.
CFA CEO Mick Bourke said it was welcome news.
“The results to date are very encouraging, but there is still more work to be done,“ Mr Bourke said.
In line with recommendation 3 of the Professor Joy Report, he said Cardno Lane Piper and one of Australia’s leading toxicologists are carrying out a health risk assessment and an ecological study to determine any impacts.
These studies are complex and take time, and a full report is expected to be delivered by the middle of this year.
The Professor Joy report, made public in July 2012, found residues from fire suppression foams used in training were present in the dams at Fiskville and that significantly diluted traces will have entered a creek flowing off site.
This information was confirmed in a separate report by Golder and Associates, also released publicly in July 2012.
Both of these reports concluded that the risk to human health associated with water and sediment moving downstream via Lake Fiskville is extremely low.
Town water will continue to be used for firefighter training while CFA works towards a new water treatment system.
Mr Bourke reiterated Fiskville remains a safe site for workers, trainees and visitors and said CFA continued to work closely with EPA and Worksafe.
He said the culmination of the ongoing work would be a world class firefighting training college.