The intent of this project is to identify correlations between various localities and reported PFAS concentrations, and to establish reasonable background concentrations for various site factors.

Existing Work

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) have sampled surface waters, groundwater and drainage across the Perth metropolitan area. There are also significant amounts of publically available data from across the State available from Department of Defence, Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), Department of Transport and AirServices Australia.

Water Corporation also has a plethora of data from its own individual site assessments and various sampling programs to draw from. There is also growing publically available data from interstate agencies that could be investigated.

For additional background information, we could also reach out through the Australasian Land and Groundwater Association to private companies that may have undertaken their own site assessments and wish to volunteer their data for inclusion.

Objectives

Understanding of the distribution and ambient background concentrations of PFAS in the urban environment and in various land use scenarios.
This project will allow for a more holistic understanding of background conditions for planning and environmental assessment, providing confidence to the regulators and general public that appropriate background concentrations are being used. The data analytics may also determine trends or associations that can be utilised for improved PFAS management in the future.

Scope

Detailed assessment of PFAS metadata to identify trends and correlations with various site factors. Example factors of interest includes (but is not limited to) current and historical land use, site development age, proximity to drainage, population density, presence of septic tanks, reuse irrigation nearby, groundwater depth and geological profile.

The project will include:

  • Collating available data from public sources and willing participants
  • Interrogate the data to determine trends in background PFAS concentrations
  • Determine representative background concentrations for various land use categories