Environmental testing report
Council and specialist environmental consultants conducted soil testing in Doyle Ground, North Parramatta throughout November 2018.
As the park had been identified as possibly having received waste products from James Hardie Industries approximately 50-60 years ago, consultants were called on to provide information about any potentially hazardous materials that may be present in the landfill beneath the park including asbestos. The consultants have advised that the entire site is safe for ongoing normal use.
Testing involved 36 boreholes across the entire site, to a depth of up to one metre.
Small pieces of suspected non-friable asbestos containing material were identified in only three borehole locations. Fibro, used in the construction of many older homes, is a common example of non-friable asbestos.
The small number of fragments identified suggest that these finds may be associated with historic, small-scale illegal dumping rather than large-scale James Hardie Industries legacy disposal.
Air quality monitoring confirmed no airborne asbestos was present during the testing period. Asbestos fibres are only a health risk if they are released into the air and can be inhaled. This is what is known as an "exposure pathway".
The consultants found no evidence of legacy asbestos waste within the soils of Doyle Ground.
Environmental testing showed the soil beneath the grassed surface of Doyle Ground does not contain heavy metal contaminants in excess of the applicable health investigation levels, with the exception of two boreholes, where small quantities of ash material were identified. Ash can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s). In this instance, the ash is located below surface levels so the risk to human health is considered low.
The testing found no evidence of legacy asbestos disposal within the tested soils. This suggests that if contaminated landfill was historically used at this location, it occurred at depths greater than one metre.
Council is commissioning further soil sampling around the two test sites where fragments of fibro were found. It is expected that this work will take place in May 2019 and may involve a small area of Doyle Ground being fenced for a short period of time.
The results of this testing will guide Council in the clean-up of these locations, which often involves removing the soil in the affected area, and replacing it with certified clean fill. City of Parramatta will continue to advise the community of works programs within Doyle Ground.
Who can I contact for more information?
For information on the site investigation, please contact Council's Doyle Ground Project Team on 9806 5050.