Darcy Road drain sampling

water in a concrete drain, surrounded by high mesh fence

The NSW EPA is conducting a sampling and testing program at Darcy Road drain at Port Kembla to monitor water quality after a member of the public identified elevated levels of some metals in late 2020.

The EPA’s specialist environmental sampling team conducted tests in November, which indicated levels of some metals in the water in the drain were above water quality guidelines (see results below).

To help us better understand the water quality in Darcy Road Drain and inform future actions the EPA will carry out additional sampling in Darcy Road drain over the next six months.

The EPA will also require further water quality studies to be completed by the two licensed industrial premises that discharge into the Darcy Road drain.

Public access to Port Kembla Harbour is restricted, and in places prohibited. It is not generally used for recreation activities that involve a high level of contact with the water (eg swimming). Darcy Road drain is fenced from Foreshore Rd to the point where it discharges into the Port Kembla Outer Harbour. Fishing is also restricted in Port Kembla. The EPA has informed NSW Ports, NSW Ports Authority, Wollongong Council and other stakeholders about the current community interest and EPA investigations.

The EPA will involve the community in this sampling program and make the results available on this website. Latest results can be seen below.

  Al As Ba Co Cu Fe Mn Mo Ni Pb Li Se Sr U Zn
EPA result –
Total mg/l
0.06 0.076 0.038 0.0069 0.32 1.5 0.16 0.022 0.42 0.0018 0.034 0.14 0.46 0.0006 1.3
EPA result – filtered mg/l <0.04 0.054 0.036 0.007 0.033 <0.04 0.16 0.023 0.41 <0.0001 0.033 0.13 0.46 0.0006 1.1
ANZEG 80% Marine  –  –  – 0.15 0.008  – 0.08  – 0.56  –  – –   – 0.043
ANZECC 95% Marine 0.055 0.0045 0.001 0.0013 0.3 0.08 0.07 0.0044 0.011 0.0005 0.015

Note: The bottom two lines of the table refer to Australian & New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality. More information on those guidelines can be found at https://www.waterquality.gov.au/anz-guidelines

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