Contamination at the North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve
EPA issued Wangaratta Clay Target Club with two notices in June 2016 that require the extent of lead contamination at the North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve to be understood, and for measures to be put in place to prevent groundwater and land contamination occurring.
The reserve was closed to the community after lead above the health limits for recreational levels was detected in soil samples at the site’s eastern boundary.
For older developments on this issue, see the Contamination from Wangaratta Clay Target Club archive.
January 2018 update
Excavation of contaminated material for the North Wangaratta recreation Reserve
Excavation of lead-contaminated soil at the North Wangaratta football oval has commenced. The soil contamination was from historical shooting activities at the Wangaratta Clay Target Club (WCTC), adjacent to the football oval.
Following excavation of the contaminated material, soil testing will be conducted to confirm that lead contamination has been reduced to a level that poses minimal risk to human health and the environment. The oval will then be reconstructed to allow the public access without risk to human health.
The contaminated soil will be temporarily stored on the WCTC premises. This soil will be included in the cleanup plan required for the premises.
The excavation and temporary stockpiling of the contaminated material are being managed by consultants engaged by the Rural City of Wangaratta, as required by a notice issued by EPA. The notice requires that the excavation and stockpiling be carried out as to minimise the risk to human health and the environment.
Results from groundwater monitoring undertaken in May 2017 at the North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve indicate that:
- levels of lead in groundwater did not exceed health guidelines for drinking water
- levels of nickel in groundwater were found to exceed health guidelines for drinking water.
Because groundwater undergoes seasonal and other variations, further monitoring will be required to confirm groundwater quality. Groundwater in the area may be contaminated and shouldn't be used for drinking until these investigations are complete. For other uses of groundwater, such as irrigation and stock watering, groundwater should be tested regularly to ensure its suitability.
Residents seeking further information about private water supplies, should call the Department of Health and Human Services Water Program on 1300 761 874.
Cleanup plan for Wangaratta Clay Target Club
The cleanup plan for WCTC has been delayed while work has been focused on the North Wangaratta football oval. The cleanup plan must be completed and submitted to EPA by 30 March 2018.
Please don't hesitate to contact EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) for more information about environmental or health risks, or the Rural City of Wangaratta for information about the oval reinstatement.