Farmers left in the dark over water contamination

A LAKE Cargelligo farmer has been left in the dark about whether his water supply has been contaminated.

Peter Brown said his farm was about three kilometres from the site of a fuel spill and he had been using his bore water as normal.

"I've got stock on my farm and they only drink bore water. We shower in the water," Mr Brown said.

NSW EPA advised this week a fuel company associated with the Shell Service Station in Lake Cargelligo had been issued with a Clean-Up Notice following a fuel leak of 17,000 of unleaded fuel from a fuel storage system.

The EPA has collected samples from a monitoring bore onsite and from a council-owned monitoring bore about 450 metres from the service station.

EPA Manager for Far West operations manager Carmen Dwyer said council was the appropriate regulatory authority and was investigating the incident.

"On July 2, 2014, the EPA was informed of the detection of fuel in a monitoring bore and that a spill had occurred several months ago, resulting in about 17,000 litres of fuel being lost," Mr Dwyer said.

The monitoring bores are not part of Lachlan Shire Council's drinking water network and the town's water supply has not been affected.

However, the EPA has advised people against drawing from bores that are not part of council's network.

An EPA spokeswoman said yesterday people with bores in the area should "be on alert".

The spokeswoman said anyone who believed their water may have been contaminated to contact the EPA's environment line on 131 555 immediately.

Mr Brown said he called the EPA yesterday and they told him to keep an eye on his supply and let them know if he found any contamination.

"They said to keep an eye on my bore, to check my water and if I find any contamination to get back in touch with them

"I haven't noticed any contamination but I wouldn't be very happy at all (if I find out it has been contaminated)."

Mr Brown said if his water was contaminated, he would have to truck in water to his farm.

Farmer Junior Small said his property was about 4.5 kilometres from where the spill occurred but he hadn't detected any contamination.

"To our knowledge, our water is as clear as it has ever been," Mr Small said.

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