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Discharges of 2011, How they Kill.

The discharges of Coal Seam water in 2011 killed the vegetation not only by the saline effect, from which the vegetation will eventually recover, but from the so called harmless Sodium Bi-Carbonate (Baking Soda) which is the largest single salt found in the Coal Seam Water and ALKALINE by nature.

How does the Sodium Bi-Carbonate kill and keep killing the trees in the Pilliga State Forest? Simple Sodium Bi-Carbonate reverses the pH value of the soil. The pH (Alkalinity to Acid ratio) in the Pilliga State Forest is of the order of 5.3 and thus ACID, hence the native vegetation has evolved to suit these acid soils. however the pH of the soil at the latest discharges is now 9.9  ALKALINE .

Hence there has been a complete and extensive reversial of the natural balance. SO EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT TOLERANT OF SUCH A CHANGE, DIES, and along with it so does the Fauna, if its range of movement is not greater than the area of reversed pH.

 No amount of tree removal or soil removal will correct the situation if left too long, because each rainfall will only take the Sodium Bi-Carbonate further into the soil as well as spreading it.

The Governments and Santos’ answer will be to import non-native to the area vegetation, in an effort to cover up the mess. Thus destroying the natural ecosystem that is the Pilliga State Forest.


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