Bohena 7 Spill Site

amck bohema 7

Bohena 7 spill site by Anne McKenzie

Turn off the Newell Highway into Plumb Road (just past the 30km to Narrabri sign (N30) or 3.8km south of Old Mill Road) and immediately park the car on the side of the road. (You can drive to the spill site but you will have to reverse back out.) Follow the track to the right (going south) running close and parallel to the Highway, until on your left through the trees you see an area where many logs lie on the ground and the trees are very sparse.

In an attempt to rehabilitate the site, Santos spread gypsum and sulphur around the spill area. Thick irrigation hoses snake across the logs. They were used to water the site to dilute the salt and flushed it down to creeks and possibly into the Great Artesian Basin. This spread the salt well beyond the initial spill. The gypsum broke up the salt and helped it float away, and the sulphur brought the pH back from alkaline towards acid. The spill area was later covered with woodchip, supposedly from local native trees.

Continue south within the spill site until you come to a fence and the source of the spill, an unlined evaporation pond which has since been filled in. An area of approximately 500 x 200 metres was devastated by this spill of waste water in 2006. Evaporation ponds are now banned but ponds such as those at Leewood are still being built to store waste water.