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30-12-11 Discharge Into Pilliga State Forest

On Friday the 30-12-11 adjacent to the Bibblewindi Coal Seam Water Treatment and Coal Seam Gas Gathering Complex in the Pilliga East State Forest, Dead and Dying Trees along with large areas of totally dead grass were observed, filmed and photographed.

The fluid flow trail had the appearance of a large fast discharge about it as it seemed to miss areas as it rushed pass. The flow was strong enough to move soil and deposited it in another place, thus leaving a record of the velocity of the water, which is further reinforced by the way in places it left behind a cleared main stream path for much of its length of travel. Within these redeposited soils was the tell tail Chocolate stain. The flow went for about 500m to the West and about 400 m to the South east. There were at least 4 entry points to the forest and at least two of them were made by the overwhelming sudden surge of fluid. The smell of this black fluid was not unlike that of water drained off the Fuel tanks of Ships, it had a slight oily smell along with a slight salty one. Initially when first seen, the black fluid left a slight tingling-burning sensation on the hands when touched for any length of time.

Where the fluid had run it left behind a  Chocolate Coloured stain, containing both light and very black hues, along with pools of midnight black water.

In areas where the Black fluid had settled and dried a Black tar like substance was seen to be binding the leaf matter together, and in areas where there was no litter there was a covering of this Black tar like Substance over the drying soil.

The drying pools of black water developed a skin to them, first taking on an Emerald Green colour, starting at the edges and growing towards the centre pf the ponds as they dried, but then it turned Black as coal, and started to form small squares exactly like a skin on custard, but with squares. The fluid underneath, as it dried turned a pus green colour and omitted a foul stench not unlike a poorly maintained sewer.    

On Saturday 31-12-11, Santos claimed it was the stain of Eucalyptus leaves, however there were ponds of clear water up hill of this discharge and they contained plenty of Eucalyptus Leaves, but were not stained any other colour but clear with a slight Earthy Brown colouring.

Santos also claimed that it was water run-off from the past rain event that deposited up to 250 mm in the area over a month. That was quickly dispelled when a subsequent rain event of 55 mm on Thursday the 4-1-12 and 22 mm on Sunday 8-1-12, seemed to dissolve some of the Tar like substance and thus the what was seen and photographed on the 30-12-11, was not the same as seen on the 10-1-12. The Black water was still there along with the Chocolate stains, but they were diluted and had moved further into the Pilliga State Forest.

This then puts a doudt on Santos’ explanation that it was caused by the Rain event. Because as it appears to either dissolve or be moved by the effects of water. Then 250 mm would have left no deposit at all.

Santos further admitted on Saturday 31-12-11 that on the Thursday before Christmas they had had a 200 litre Chemical Spill at the Bibblewindi site, which had been cleaned up, Disposed of at a secure site near Newcastle NSW, and Reported to the DII as required. The nature of the Chemical is unknown as Santos has not yet answered that question.

It is my opinion that this spill was this Discharge and instead of 200 litre it was more like 200,000 litres and the source was a rupturing of either a Dam or the Pipeline that runs from the dam to the RO plant.

Reasons for this are as follows.
1——-The Black water that when dries gives a tar like appearance is found at the Bibblewindi West Sites and has been photographed in 1000 litre containers, into which Eastern Star Gas was venting the Coal Seam Gas and water to prevent air locks.
2——As this tar like substance seems to dissolve in water, it cannot have occurred as a result of rain, uncovered, yes: washed out, yes: and is certainly not Eucalyptus stain, or any other form of natural forest based material (I will give evidence later).
3——A visual inspection of the area between the dam and the Reverse Osmosis Plant revealed that the start of the Tree Kill occurred at an area where a Pipe line had been recently worked on. There is a very distinct green line of grass and trees to the East of this Pipe line and nothing but Dead Trees and Dying vegetation to the West, North and South at this point and all the way to the start of the Pilliga Forest.
4—— As the tar like substance seems to dissolve in water, and as we had had no rain to speak of since December 12 2011 until January 4 2012, and what little rain fell between those dates was 9 mm on December19 2011, 1mm December 21 2011 and 6.5 mm December 22 2011, and as the area where the pipe line had been worked on was fresh. The Discharge occurred some time between December 13 2011 and thedate found December 30 2011.
5——The 200litre Chemical Spill, The DII do not seem to know anything about it, or are covering something up, I base this on the tone of their letter to me asking for what I knew about it, dates and informant, etc.

Now for the other evidence ; There are at least two other locations that have this Dark Chocolate stain at at least one location and more than likely at the other, there have been discharges of Coal Seam Water onto the Ground. There is photographic evidence that shows the source of the stain to be from a Coal Seam Water discharge, because on one side is the natural brown flow path while on the other is the stained path. and tho further dam the Coal Seam Gas Industry and the DII Maitland, at least two of these site were  reported to the DII in my 26 Complaints of July 2011. I have heard nothing back on these, however Eastern Star Gas carried out some very Bodgey clean-ups as a result. Santos has been told of the sites. The DII Maitlnd will be informed also, and Photos will be provided.

These two sites are at the Bohena Storage Ponds at locations where the over flow line was discharging into the Forest on the Southern Side, and on the Northern side where the return Coal Seam water line was discharging into the Pond earlier this year.
The other site, also mentioned in my 26 complaints, is on the Western side of Bohena Creek on the red earth slope away from Bohena Creek Road, starting where the 7 inch poly pipe attached to the pump on the Bohena storage dam wall met the 2 inch poly pipe.

Santos please do not try to fool the people of Australia, so instead of saying, as you are now, ” We inherited a rundown system from Eastern Star Gas”. Do the right thing,  ‘Come clean about everything do not hide it’

There is more to this Discharge that is currently being said.


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