News

Toxic test results at Southside

Judy Ballard believes soil toxins are responsible for the ill health of animals on her Glastonbury Rd property.
Judy Ballard believes soil toxins are responsible for the ill health of animals on her Glastonbury Rd property. Renee Pilcher

DEAD birds and a dog that lost all its fur within days of jumping in her backyard waterhole were enough to convince Judy Ballard that something was wrong.

Mrs Ballard, whose home is just downhill (and downstream) from the former Southside tip (now a transfer station), is contaminated, she says.

But the council and the State Government's former environmental protection agency, says there's nothing wrong.

Their tests show some elevated levels of toxic heavy metals and other poisons, but not at levels that would be an unacceptable threat.

"They said there was nothing wrong," Mrs Ballard told The Gympie Times.

"So I had my own tests done and they showed a different result."

Mrs Ballard says of the EPA and Gympie Regional Council: "They took samples in wet weather, when outflow from the former dump would be greatest".

But Mrs Ballard says this is also when the deposits in her soil would be at their most dilute.

"I had my samples taken in the dry," she said.

The figures are subject to interpretation, but Mrs Ballard has had trouble getting further advice on that.

But a quick internet check shows her levels of chromium, rated at 36, were high enough to cause ill effects in humans living there.

Some petroleum-based hydrocarbons are also showing at high readings in her soil, as are organophosphate pesticides.

Mrs Ballard's backyard chromium levels appear to exceed recommended levels for residential use of the land, let alone for growing vegetables or grazing animals.

She says her troubles come from leachate from the former dump, which is next door and uphill from her acreage on Glastonbury Rd.

Experts in the field say agricultural soils normally contain some background levels of heavy metals, but these levels can be increased from industrial activities or by-products, including material leaching from a dump.

"The actual toxicity of a heavy metal will be affected by soil texture, organic matter and pH," according to one university information site.

The site warns: "It is not clear exactly what levels of heavy metals in soil are safe, but correct interpretation of readings is needed".

Gympie Times

Topics:  toxic




Man rushed to hospital after dirt bike crash

Ambulance Photo: Cade Mooney / Sunshine Coast Daily

Man in serious condition after accident

The study of manure is serious business

MANURE: Suzanne Roth washes a manure sample through different size sieves to show how well feed has been digested.

The study of manure is a serious business

Teenager hit by car while trying to cross Bruce Hwy

INJURED: A teenage girl has been treated for minor injuries after she was hit by a car on the Bruce Highway.

Teenage girl escapes serious injury after being hit by a vehicle

Latest deals and offers

Elm Street is far from a nightmare

Elm street's new album is making waves. Photo Contributed

Elm Street talks about drumming studios, power metal and the album.

'We finally won at parenting'

WINNING: It only took 24 years an seven children, but they made the bus on time.

Getting your kids to the bus on time can be a challenge

What's on the small screen this week

Keira Maguire and Richie Strahan in a scene from The Bachelor.

SEVEN gears up for the Rio Olympics while The Bachelor continues.

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Is Gympie having a building boom?

There is plenty of building activity happening around the Gympie region.

New home approvals for Gympie region double

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley