Water Resources Information

PFAS Testing on Council Facilities

Following on from the ongoing Department of Defence PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) testing across a number of sites in the Katherine region by Coffey Consultants, testing is now occurring on Katherine Town Council facilities.

PFAS has been used for decades in hundreds of industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, apparels, upholstery, food paper wrappings, fire-fighting foams and metal plating.

A regime of testing is now underway on Council facilities that may have levels of PFAS that could impact on human health. This is part of the overall investigation of PFAS use at RAAF Tindal Base by Coffee, in the Katherine Township. Ongoing monitoring and public reporting of all facilities is planned.


This table shows the concentration of PFAS in the water at the Katherine Aquatic Centre. Bore and pool sampling at the Aquatic Centre will be undertaken fortnightly to build baseline data and ensure that the water quality remains within the national health based guidance values (HBGV). The table will be updated with the results of ongoing testing as it becomes available.

Planned Reopening - Katherine Aquatic Centre

Water testing confirms the Katherine Aquatic Centre is below recreational guidelines and preparations are being made to reopen the pool to the community at 6.00am, Thursday 16 November.


Council Facility Date Sampled Sampling Location Contaminant
µg/l µg/l
Katherine Hot Springs 2/08/2017 Spring 0.04 <0.01
2/08/2017 Pool 1 0.05 <0.01
2/08/2017 Pool 2 0.04 <0.01
28/09/2017 Spring 0.04 0.02
28/09/2017 Pool 1 0.04 0.03
28/09/2017 Pool 2 0.03 0.02
8/11/2017 Spring 0.03 <0.01
8/11/2017 Pool 1 0.03 <0.01
Pool 2 0.03 <0.01
16/12/2018 Spring 0.04 <0.01
16/12/2018 Pool 1  0.03 <0.01
16/12/2018 Pool 2   0.03 <0.01

Aquatic Centre
7/09/2017 Swimming Pool 0.6 0.01
11/09/2017 Swimming Pool 0.54 <0.01
28/09/2017 Swimming Pool 0.84 0.02
11/10/2017 Swimming Pool 0.7 0.02
7/11/2017 Swimming Pool 0.27 <0.01
22/11/2017 Swimming Pool 0.19 <0.01
   5/12/2017 Swimming Pool 0.17 <0.01
  21/12/2017 Swimming Pool 0.11 <0.01
   15/01/2018 Swimming Pool 0.11 <0.01
   30/01/2018 Swimming Pool  0.09 <0.01
   12/02/2018 Swimming Pool  0.08 <0.01
   26/02/2018 Swimming Pool
  0.07   <0.01 
   12/03/2018 Swimming Pool
 0.07 <0.01
   4/04/2018 Swimming Pool
 0.08 <0.01


As part of the ongoing communication and advocacy for our community, Council has chosen to provide the results of the PFAS bore readings for Council managed irrigation bores. As a precautionary measure, where the readings show any detectable level of PFAS, Council will identify and implement measures to reduce potential exposure of the water to the community as a matter of priority.

Of note is the result from bore RN033019 (Civic Centre Big) - We asked for clarification from the Department of Defence, who provided the statement below.

"This deep bore is within the original investigation area and is the only detectable result on the western side of the Katherine River. It may be impacted due to deep flow from the eastern side of the river going under the river before discharging through springs on the western side. The shallow bore on the same property was a non-detect. Sampling was done through the sprinkler system as there was no direct bore access, so the influence of the pipes is also being considered. Defence is investigating other deep bores in the area to confirm the limited extent next to the river. Most private bores in the area are shallow, and none that have been tested have detected PFAS."

Registered Number Bore Date Sampled Contaminant
RN007437 Sportsgrounds Bore 3 October 2017 1.06
RN021099 Museum – DCA Small October 2017 0.15
RN030662 Roney Park October 2017 0.56
RN020119 Sportsgrounds Bore 1 September 2017 0.54
September 2017 1.08
RN022836 Grevillea Park October 2017 0.46
RN031131 Waste Management Facility May 2017 0.14
    October 2017 0.06
RN022027 Dakota Park October 2017 0.19
RN022130 Lockheed Park October 2017 0.16
RN020118 Showgrounds Big October 2017 0.35
RN004881 Showgrounds Small October 2017 0.24
RN022025 Jukes Park October 2017 0.2
RN033757 Police Bore October 2017 1.16
RN033019 Civic Centre Big October 2017 0.2
RN022486 Civic Centre Small October 2017 Not Detected


The national Health Based Guidance Value (HBGV) for PFOS/PFHxS for recreational use is

0.7 micrograms per Litre (µg/L). For PFOA the HBGV is 5.6µg/L for recreational use.

For further information about the national HBGVs view the Department of Health Fact Sheet Health Based Guidance Values for PFAS.

For further information in regards the PFAS Investigation & Management Program being conducted by the Department of Defence please visit http://www.defence.gov.au/Environment/pfas/default.asp