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PostPosted: May 6th, '13, 21:17 
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Got your attention didnt I?

Well, Im actually not playing games. My question and concerns are legit, although this may be for a small minority of members.

A.S.S. Acid Sulfate Soils.

Im currently going through the process of purchasing my little hobby farm (that I will move to some time in the distant future) in the most beautiful NSW. But whilst I was scrutinising the paperwork today I came across some information that the property has acid sulphate soil. I know nothing about this. After googling for a while I came across an article that has disturbed me to some degree. Rupert understands my love for a little ol town called Evans Head which is 15km from my new destination and that is why this article got me thinking.

Can any of you fine NSW folk or any other soil legend give me some edumicated guidance on this one?





A recent major fish kill in northeast NSW at Lake Cudgera resulted in over 7 thousand fish being killed in the lake.

The results of tests carried out on the reasons for this kill indicated that it was most likely caused by acid sulfate run off from a nearby housing development project.

This region of the Tweed valley has long been known as a major acid sulfate area and it was recognised many years ago that the mysterious fish kills in the Tweed river, after a dry period followed by heavy rain, was the result of acid sulfate run off.

The Richmond, and to a lesser degree, the Clarence River also suffers from acid sulfate problems.

The nearby coastal town of Evans Head has a major problem with acid sulfate soils. Recently a major development here was halted at great expense after it was proven that the site was running sulfuric acid in huge quantities from a major drain which ran through the development. An Environmental Court Judge decided after expert advice that the problem of acid sulfate soils on the development could not be managed with enough certainty to warrant the completion of the project. He ordered that the project be stopped, restored and revegetated, to minimise the damage already caused.

At the writing of this report there has been a worrying development in Evans Head where the domestic drinking water has been found to be contaminated by unacceptable levels of copper and other heavy metals. It appears that the high acid content in the water supply is leaching the copper from the copper pipes carrying domestic water to homes in the town. To date the local council is extremely worried, as it does not yet have a solution to the problem. At this stage, there appears to be no viable solution in sight.

The reaches of the Richmond River near Ballina also suffer from fish kills and red spot disease on a regular basis due to the leaching of acid sulfate from major drainage works further up river.

In the case of the Tweed river, the major cause of fish kills in the area seems to be acid sulfate run off, from major drainage works which have been completed for over forty years, through the cane fields. During those years fish kills have occurred when conditions are right; mainly a period of dry weather and then reasonable heavy rains following.

Unfortunately there seems that, at this stage, there is little which can be done to stop the fish carnage which is occurring with monotonous frequency.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '13, 21:26 
Not sure what you're looking for Charlie....

Much of NSW, particularly areas surrounding major river sources... have acid sulphate soils... known and mapped for decades...

Generally... if left undisturbed... they're not a problem...

Put a bulldozer.. or scrapper through them... disturb them.... and bingo.... the runoff causes massive fish kills....

Happens all over the world... it's just one of the prices we pay for urban development...


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PostPosted: May 6th, '13, 21:32 
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Hoping you were going to chime in Roz.

Ok, Im definately not soil educated. Lets get that clear.

So is this popular throughout most of the state? Or Country?

Is it anything to worry about if Im not doing any evasive excavation? The property has beautiful rolling lawns and gardens.

There is also a series of dams on the property, do you think they will be any good? They are not lined and are solely used for irrigation from what I am told. Ill be getting the water tested later in the week so will be intersting to see.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '13, 21:41 
http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/r ... troduction

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/acids ... /index.htm

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/acids ... cation.htm

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/acids ... damage.htm


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PostPosted: May 6th, '13, 21:47 
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I appreciate that Rupe but I was hoping for more real life view. Ive been reading about it all day and I cant narrow down if it is a problem in rural areas... well, no, Im trying to figure out if buying a property that has acidic sulphate soil is a problem. Sorry, just trying to get my head around it. Maybe its just very very common and Im worried about nothing.

:dontknow:

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PostPosted: May 6th, '13, 21:52 
Lot of aquaculture happening around that neck of the woods Charlie... and the fishing is generally pretty good....

Should give you a clue as to things..... and read the links.... especially the "damage" one... :wink:


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PostPosted: May 6th, '13, 21:56 
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Ok. thanks. Yea your right. I get a bit 'skimmy' with my reading when I get charged up.

Appreciate it.

Its not all true what they say about En-Zedders. :)

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PostPosted: May 8th, '13, 12:00 
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What do they say Charlie ?

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PostPosted: May 8th, '13, 12:46 
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How much time have you got eagle eye?

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PostPosted: Oct 15th, '13, 21:26 
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Not enough obviously . :p but now that I have givin up my 2nd job I should have time :)

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