Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is currently reviewing an environmental site assessment detailing the extent of lead contamination at the North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve from the Wangaratta Clay Target Club (the club).
The assessment was a requirement of a notice issued to the club last year.
EPA North East Manager Emma Knights said groundwater samples analysed from the reserve were found to have levels of lead above the health guideline levels outlined in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG).
“EPA advises that groundwater in the area may be contaminated and shouldn’t be used for drinking until these investigations are completed. For uses of groundwater other than drinking, for example irrigation and stock watering, EPA encourages regular testing of groundwater to ensure its suitability for those uses,” Ms Knights said.
Residents seeking further information about private water supplies should visit: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/water/private-drinking-water-supplies
Ms Knights said that EPA would continue to review the report and provide updates to the community when available.
“Following the review, EPA will also require the development of a clean-up plan for the future management of the North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve precinct,” she said.
“EPA will meet with sporting groups and the community associated with the recreation reserve to discuss the next steps of returning the users of the facilities as soon as possible.”
Ms Knights said the North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve was closed to the community last year after lead was detected in soil samples at the site’s eastern boundary above the health limits for recreational levels.
“The primary objective of all agencies involved is, and has always been, to re-open the recreation reserve for use as quickly as possible while minimising any risks to human health and the local environment,” Ms Knights said.