Yankalilla Council takes quick action on unidentified material found on the Bungala River

Halted: The boom installed in the Bungala River.

Halted: The boom installed in the Bungala River.

Quick action from the Yankalilla Council team has seen the appropriate authorities attend the Bungala River to investigate an unidentified substance in the river and stop the substance from reaching the estuary.

The unidentified substance described as a "thick white film" was discovered by a local resident on November 25 and could be visually seen west of the Williss Drive Bridge and spread for about 500 metres to the bridge near the Caravan Park. Council installed a temporary boom in the estuary near the beach, before the MFS Hazmat team installed a more substantial boom when they attended the site that evening.

As of November 30, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has completed multiple visual inspections of the river and "think the best approach with their present understanding of the issue is to continue to monitor to see if the material eventually sinks or continues to float, or if it pushes downstream into the estuary," according to a Yankalilla Council spokesperson.

The unidentified thick white film that has been found in the Bungala River.

The unidentified thick white film that has been found in the Bungala River.

"The EPA have not identified or removed the material."

Last week, the council's spokesperson told The Times council's Environmental Health Officer (EHO) and General Inspector immediately attended the scene on November 25 and that the "material did not contain a smell and had not reached the estuary."

Council's EHO quickly notified the EPA who mobilised the MFS, CFS and Hazmat Team to attend.

"While waiting for these services to arrive our quick-thinking staff called in assistance from our Operational Works Manager, Damien Cross, who promptly built a temporary floating boom from material at our depot and installed it to prevent the material moving towards the estuary," the spokesperson said.

"The EPA will contain the unidentified material, test samples and investigate where it came from.

"Protecting and caring for our pristine environment is a priority for council and our community."

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