ABSTRACT:

On 1 April, 1999, an outbreak of Newcastle Disease in the Mangrove Mountain area (NSW, Central Coast) led to the destruction of two million chickens. Newcastle disease is a viral disease of birds. It is readily communicable disease and can be transported by feathers, faeces, and aerosol particles of any bird body fluids. Landfilling of the chickens was identified as the only feasible disposal option and two landfill cells were constructed. A further cell was constructed for the disposal of manure and other waste from within the chicken sheds. Site selection was restricted due to the need for sites to be selected within the quarantine zone which encompassed the Mangrove Mountain Ridge and restrictions due to National Parks, and private properties. Groundwater is used extensively for domestic and commercial (mineral spring bottling) purposes and therefore a high degree of environmental protection was required. Double containment systems were used at the sites due to the sensitivity of the environment and the relatively high permeability of the geology. Groundwater monitoring bores have been installed around the landfill cells, and baseline groundwater conditions established. These bores are being used in conjunction with existing adjacent landholders bores to monitor any changes in groundwater quality over time.

INTRODUCTION

The Newcastle disease is a viral disease of birds. It is a readily communicable disease and can be transported by feathers, faeces, and aerosol particles of any birds body fluids. The virus is destroyed by direct sunlight, by treatment with heat or with acidic or basic solutions. In cool conditions it has been found to survive within chicken manure for many weeks. The virus affects the digestive, respiratory and nervous systems of the birds, and has an incubation period of between ten and twenty-one days.

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