News that the chemicals at the centre of a contamination scandal in Williamtown have been found in a Maitland creek has sent shock waves through the community.
Hunter Water confirmed on Thursday that it had suspended a Rutherford business’s licence to discharge trade waste into the sewer, after traces of PFOS and PFOA were found in Fishery Creek.
Hunter Water identified a potential breach at Kyle Street business Australian Waste Oil Refineries during an inspection earlier this month.
A Hunter Water spokesperson said drinking water had not been contaminated, but tests were taking place as a precaution.
The contaminated water entered the sewer at Rutherford and travelled to Hunter Water’s waste water treatment facility at Farley.
After treatment, water flows from the plant, through Fishery Creek, Wallis Creek and into the Hunter River.
The Hunter Water spokesman said the treatment plant was not equipped to remove chemicals like PFOS or PFOA from water.
It comes amid an ongoing saga involving the same chemicals at Williamtown, where commercial fishing has been suspended and home owners have been left wondering how the value of their properties would be affected.
Hunter Environment Lobby spokesperson Jan Davis said she was shocked to hear about the contamination.
“It’s a real worry,” she said.
“It could impact on us in so many ways – it’s very dangerous.
“Panicking people isn’t helpful but people need to be aware of the danger.
“Look at Williamtown – I’d hate to think the same thing could happen at Rutherford.”
Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison said it was appalling that the chemicals had been found in Fishery Creek.
“I will be supporting the EPA to get to the bottom of it,” she said.
“We just need to get to the bottom of it and make sure that it’s stopped.”