Work to understand the possible impacts from historic fuel tanks which were once located on a Bluff playground will begin early next month.
The land, now home to the Slaney Street Playground, was leased from the Bluff Borough Council by Europa (now BP) until 1987, and was the site of a significant fuel storage facility.
In 1993, the site was planted out and a playground built. Council Interim Parks and Recreation Manager Michele Frey became aware of a potential contamination issue on the site as a result of its former life as a fuel storage location, and detailed site investigations are about to begin.
Ms Frey said the investigation involves soil testing, with some excavation works happening on the site. “Experts have told us that it’s possible there may be some contamination of the soil as a result of heavy metals having been present from the fuel storage,” Ms Frey said.
“We want to ensure that there has been no impact on groundwater, or the coastal marine area nearby.”
Ms Frey said work will begin mid-March, and site testing would take about two days. Council expected to receive the results from testing within about a month, she said.
The playground area will be closed to the public while soil samples are gathered, in order to avoid any risks associated with heavy machinery present.
“Once we have the results of testing, we should be able to identify if there has been any contamination. From there, we can investigate whether any remedial work will be required.”