Seven Hills company VIP Drum Reconditioners has been fined after an on-site spill caused caustic soda to spill into Toongabbie Creek.
NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) officers attended the Powers Road premises in January after they were notified by the company.
A greenish-silver liquid had spilled into a stormwater drain and was visible on the surface of Toongabbie Creek. A faulty valve had caused a wastewater containment tank to overflow. Tests showed the spill material was a mixture of chemical residues from the drum washing process including caustic soda, oil and grease.
While the spilled substance was toxic, there was no evidence of killed fish.
The EPA hopes the $15,000 fine will act as a reminder to companies to ensure any chances of water pollution at their facilities were identified and rectified.
“While the company took a raft of steps to clean-up after the spill and minimise any harm, the fact remains that the spill occurred and put the environment at risk,” EPA waste compliance director Greg Sheehy said.
“Like any incident, proper prevention is the best way to protect the environment, and the EPA will be monitoring VIP to ensure best practice is followed from now on.”
Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions.