Waste and chemicals that pollute our air, soil and water can persist in the environment. Most chemicals enter our environment through sewage, waste, accidental discharge, or can be by-products from industrial activity. Historical contamination sources, like lead paint and leaded gasoline have also impacted urban soil quality.

Contamination can affect soil quality and impact how our veggies grow. It may also have human health implications from eating garden produce or working in the garden if contaminants are present at high concentrations.

GardenSafe is a soil testing program run by Citizen Science team at Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria. This ongoing program aims to equip community with the knowledge and resources they need to understand backyard soil quality.

Register for GardenSafe

Register for GardenSafe to find out what's in your garden soil. GardenSafe is free to access (except for the cost of postage) and available to all Victorian residents. 

Register for GardenSafe

GardenSafe invites you to send 3 garden soil samples for screening. We will assess your sample for:

  • Garden soil quality indicators, including soil composition, organic carbon, and soil nutrients phosphorus and potassium
  • Trace elements, including lead, arsenic and chromium 

The findings from GardenSafe will help to build EPA’s understanding of contamination, especially in urban areas. 

Register for GardenSafe  to get involved. 

More information



Reviewed 1 November 2023