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When waste and chemicals pollute air, soil or water, they can contaminate land and groundwater. This can pose a potential risk to health and the environment.

Land contamination can happen when past waste disposal or industrial activities have caused pollution. Land contamination needs to be cleaned up and managed in the right way.

Groundwater collects and flows below the earth’s surface. People can use it for crops, industry and drinking water. If groundwater gets polluted it may be unsafe to use.

EPA is responsible for protecting Victoria’s land and groundwater from pollution and waste:

  • We monitor industry to make sure it complies with environment protection laws.
  • We set guidance and rules on dealing with past pollution in the Contaminated Environments Strategy.
  • We administer the environmental audit system. This helps planners, landowners and buyers assess contamination at a site.
  • We keep a Priority Sites Register (PSR). This is a list of sites with clean up or pollution abatement notices about land or groundwater.
  • We give information about groundwater quality across the state.
  • We give health guidance on dangerous chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE) and arsenic.
  • We work with industry and planning authorities to prevent harm from lead contamination at shooting ranges.
  • We investigate contamination from per-and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).

Learn more about groundwater

Groundwater quality restricted use zones on Victoria Unearthed

Bore construction fact sheet from Southern Rural Water

General health information about groundwater

Get your soil tested with VegeSafe

Learn more about PFAS

PFAS national standards

Australian Government Department of Health website

PFAS in Victoria

PFAS information from Department of Health and Human Services Victoria

Read next

Contaminated site management

Priority Sites Register

Contaminated Environments Strategy

Groundwater pollution

Search for areas with groundwater restriction zones (GQURZs)

Trichloroethylene (TCE): health impacts

Arsenic: health impacts

Land and groundwater contamination from shooting ranges

Reviewed 11 February 2020