It’s the last thing you’d want to know is in the soil of your property, but dangerous substances including lead and cyanide have been found on properties above the Waratah gasworks.

An 11-month investigation was undertaken by Newcastle City Council with a report based on an “independent cohesive review” is expected to be released in the coming weeks. It will be subject to a review by the Site Auditor, NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD).

It’s understood about 20 properties bound by Turton, Georgetown and Ellis Roads could be affected.

The investigations were announced earlier this year by council. The plan was to take approximately 200 soil, vapour and groundwater samples which were tested for a wide range of substances associated with the former gasworks.

The Waratah gasworks operated in the late 19th and early 20th century. There isn’t thought to be an airborne risk when it comes to the chemicals because the site has been decommissioned since the 1920s.

In the meantime, residents can minimise their risk of coming into contact with the substances by avoiding direct contact with shallow soil.