Real-time water monitoring for Camp Gully Creek goes live

A new real-time water monitoring system has gone live in Camp Gully Creek at Metropolitan Collieries’ Helensburgh coal mine site following a NSW Environment Protection Authority investigation of wastewater discharges from the site in 2022.

Under new requirements imposed by the EPA, Metropolitan Collieries has installed a total of four water quality monitors, one each at their wastewater treatment plant and the sediment dam spillway, and two in Camp Gully Creek.

Executive Director Operations Jason Gordon said the new monitors provide continuous, real-time data on water quality which have already significantly enhanced the EPA’s ability to understand the potential impact of discharges from the site.

“This is the latest step in our commitment to improve and modernise the monitoring of water discharges from the mine and provide a strong line of defence for the environment and ecosystems of the Royal National Park,” Mr Gordon said.

“Improved monitoring was a clear priority for the community when we reviewed the mine’s operating licence in 2022, and I’m pleased to see it go live.

“In addition to the installation of the monitoring system, the EPA required Metro to complete a wastewater discharge impact assessment, which we are currently reviewing.”

Initial results from the monitoring have shown elevated levels of conductivity in water in Camp Gully Creek and the EPA has begun further investigations.

“Fortunately, we haven’t seen any impacts to fish or animals, but we will investigate this issue and continue to monitor the area given its proximity to the Royal National Park,” Mr Gordon said.

“We are also meeting regularly with the mine operators and will continue to take strong regulatory action if necessary.”

The EPA has commenced proceedings against Metropolitan Collieries in the Land and Environment Court in relation to the 2022 pollution incidents. The matter is listed for directions in the NSW Land and Environment Court on 20 October 2023.