EPA in­ves­ti­gates lead lev­els

The Vic­to­rian En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity (EPA) says lead in wet­lands around Kerang and Western Dis­trict lakes poses no hu­man health or en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

Field and Game - - NEWS -

The Lead in Wet­lands Study, in­sti­gated in re­sponse to com­mu­nity con­cerns that lead shot from duck hunt­ing may have caused lead con­tam­i­na­tion, found that lead lev­els posed no risk to hu­man health in ei­ther sed­i­ment or wa­ter sam­pling.

Chief en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tist Dr An­drea Hin­wood said only a small num­ber of sam­ples were taken for the pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The re­sults of this pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­di­cate that im­pacts from the his­tor­i­cal use of lead shot to hunt wa­ter­fowl has not sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected wa­ter qual­ity. Re­sults do not ex­ceed the rec­om­mended recre­ational live­stock wa­ter qual­ity or sed­i­ment qual­ity guide­lines for lead,” she said. How­ever, the re­port also noted over­all wa­ter qual­ity at th­ese lakes can be im­proved to main­tain the ecosys­tem val­ues and ben­e­fi­cial uses of the lakes. “Lead con­cen­tra­tions in the wa­ter and sed­i­ment of the lakes tested is low and be­low guide­lines,” Dr Hin­wood said. Lead shot was banned for duck hunt­ing in Vic­to­ria in 1994. “Though test­ing meth­ods were dif­fer­ent, EPA was able to com­pare th­ese cur­rent re­sults with sam­pling taken in 1989, which show com­pa­ra­ble re­sults giv­ing us ad­di­tional sup­port for our con­clu­sions,” Dr Hin­wood said. “We will now work with local stake­hold­ers to es­tab­lish op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove the over­all qual­ity of th­ese very im­por­tant wa­ter­ways.”

The lakes tested were: Lake Murd­e­duke, Lake Co­longu­lac, Lake Martin, Lake Co­lac at Ri­fle Range, Lake Co­lac at Camp Ground and Lake Too­liorook, Lake Bu­loke, Lake Boort, Lake Cullen South, Cairn Cur­ran Reser­voir North, Cairn Cur­ran Reser­voir South.

“Lead con­cen­tra­tions in the wa­ter and sed­i­ment of the lakes tested is low and be­low guide­lines.”

Dr An­drea Hin­wood

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