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Results of water samples taken after HWP fire will be ready in two weeks

Samples of drinking water collected after the HWP fire have been sent overseas for analysis.

Government expects results will be available in two weeks, when they will be made public.

The Department of Health has began investigating water at properties near the site of blaze after residents expressed fears their tanks may have been polluted by asbestos contained in the building’s roof.

On August 12, Government stated the analysis process would take two weeks, and pledged to release details showing the extent of any pollution.

The Health Department has confirmed samples were collected from ten homes downwind of the fire between Monday, August 15, and Wednesday, August 17.

The tests are specifically looking for combustion related contaminants including dioxin and furans and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. “During the sampling process, water samples were taken directly by bailing from drinking water tanks,” said a statement. “Technicians observed the condition of both roof top catchments and cisterns.

“Their observations verified the path of the smoke plume and revealed the deposition of ash particles on the roof tops and some discolouration which may have been a result of the fire.

“It had been suggested that recent post-fire rainfall may have been responsible for some of the ash being carried into the cisterns; however, visual inspection of the tanks themselves did not draw any particular remarks.

“The analyses being conducted on the samples are specialised tests and cannot be conducted locally. The samples were shipped to an overseas laboratory for analysis. Results will be obtained in about two weeks’ time and made public immediately.”

Anyone with concerns should contact Environmental Health on 278-5333.

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Published September 06, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated September 06, 2011 at 9:46 am)

Results of water samples taken after HWP fire will be ready in two weeks

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