Council receives NATA accreditation for PFAS testing

Date published: 9 July 2019

Townsville City Council’s Laboratory has received National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation for testing of PFAS in water and wastewater.

Townsville City Council is the first Local Government in Australia – and one of only 18 labs country-wide – accredited to test for the environmental pollutants.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee Chair Cr Russ Cook said this accreditation is a valuable addition to the lab services Council currently provides.

“Council has an innovative team of scientists that work in our lab – we have one of the leading analytical labs in the region and they are always looking for new services they can provide the community,” Cr Cook said.

“There are only 18 labs in Australia accredited for testing of PFAS contamination and we can now offer this testing to other Councils, residents and private companies.”

Infrastructure Committee Chair Cr Mark Molachino said this is another example of Council working smarter, faster and better.

“This accreditation means Council can now complete the testing of PFAS on site with the expertise of our own staff,” Cr Molachino said.

“Previously, PFAS testing had to be conducted by external labs which can charge quite high for their services – we now save this money while upskilling our staff and offering the testing to the community.”

PFAS are groups of manufactured chemicals that have been in use since the 1950’s.

There is currently no evidence linking to any adverse effects in people, however PFASs break down slowly and have been declared as persistent environmental pollutants.

The NATA Accreditation for PFAS testing was endorsed by the Infrastructure Committee today and will go to Full Council on 23 July.