Water quality in NSW
A major portion of NSW is reported to have contaminated groundwater and there is a clear need for rapid onsite monitoring of organic pollutants. The novel sensing technology currently developed by NSSN can be used to sense many different organic chemicals.
The key pollutants that are responsible for the recent contamination of water in NSW are primarily perfluoro compounds. These toxic compounds can readily dissolve in water when emitted from various sources such as sewage treatment plants and fire fighting foams. For example, groundwater in Williamtown region near RAAF base was found so contaminated that the government is considering redirecting the supply of water from surrounding towns to Williamtown.
New South Wales residents have officially launched a class action against the Defence Department, seeking compensation for contaminated groundwater from the RAAF Williamtown base. There is an urgent need to develop on-site testing and monitoring of organic pollutants to aid confidence in decision making. The goal of NSSN's Water Quality project is to monitor water quality in NSW by detecting toxic chemicals in groundwater and waterways using a portable ion detection device