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



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

'Unacceptable cruelty' costs Gympie man nearly $9K

CRUELTY: Extreme mistreatment of a goat led to a man being ordered to pay nearly $9000 in fine and costs.

Goat was chained, injured, starved and sick - court

Unexpected creatures sighted on Fraser Island

An unexpected creature has been spotted on Fraser Island.

The creature has been spotted seven times over the past five years.

Heartbreaking terror toll felt in Gympie

CLOSE TO HOME: Gem and Nick Green originally came from the near-Manchester region.

Heartbreaking terror act but Gympie people will soldier on

Local Partners

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life. When the lie found its way back to her boyfriend, there was hell to pay.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

MOVIE REVIEW: King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

Charlie Hunnam in a scene from the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Why the critics have got Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur all wrong.

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

There have been multiple confirmed deaths after 'explosions' heard at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!