What it contains

This guideline provides the preferred practice for hydrogeological assessment (HA) to understand groundwater quality and the risks of harm to human health and the environment.  

EPA expects that a HA will be undertaken whenever an activity poses a risk of harm to groundwater. This includes past, current or proposed activities. A HA should also be undertaken to decide how to clean up groundwater contamination. 

HAs are complex and should only be undertaken by qualified and experienced hydrogeologists.  


EPA’s guidelines provide information on:  

  • how contamination moves in groundwater 
  • the hydrogeological assessment process 
  • undertaking hydrogeological field studies 
  • how to use environmental values in hydrogeological assessment 
  • considerations for groundwater modelling and risk assessment 
  • dealing with uncertainty 
  • what a hydrogeological assessment report should contain. 
Target audience
Qualified hydrogeologists
Publication number
Contaminated environments; Environmental auditing; Groundwater; Land and groundwater; Risk management
Number of pages
Release date
20 December 2022
Reading level
Grade 14 (university graduate level)
Document version

Reviewed 9 January 2023