Main Roads again clearing drains on the beach

The sumps are cleared yesterday.
The sumps are cleared yesterday.

MAIN Roads has been seen for the second time in a week clearing potentially contaminated stormwater drains onto sand at a contaminated site at Port Beach, North Fremantle.

“Is it road run-off water polluted with petroleum liquids, tyre fragments and carbon fuel solids from the thousands of vehicles that continuously pass forward and backwards at Port Beach Road each day?” witness Peter McLarty said.

On Tuesday, communitynews.com.au exclusively reported the same drains opposite a former Ampol fuel depot had been cleared by a Main Roads contractor onto the beach and into the sea about 1pm on June 27.

The beach is already heavily eroded after recent storms and summer erosion exposed historic rubble and contamination that caused closures while the City of Fremantle seeks solutions.

The sumps drained by Main Roads after recent heavy rain service Port Beach Road, which is the access for container and other trucks to Fremantle Port.

Mr McLarty said more pumping yesterday created a “lake” on sand above the depot, which was buried in 1991 and 1992, and there were “black” marks on the sand today.

Sump water on the sand covering the contaminated Ampol site.

“Could it leach through and take pollution into the water table and out to sea?” he said.

Asked why the stormwater was dumped on sand a second time, a Main Roads spokeswoman said it was “normal practice” for road flood water to be pumped onto nearby verges and its priority was motorists’ safety.

The spokeswoman said Port Beach Road was a flooding “hotspot”, but an inspection and clean of the sumps was complete and Main Roads would now investigate alternative drainage.

Asked about leaching, she said the run-off was taken from road sumps and not the Ampol site last week,

She said it was waiting for the outcome of an investigation into its contractors disposing water over sand dunes into the sea last week, as it was not “normal practice”.