Current issues

Contamination from Wangaratta Clay Target Club


In June 2016, EPA issued Wangaratta Clay Target Club (WCTC) with two notices: requiring the extent of lead contamination at the North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve to be determined; and to implement measures to prevent groundwater and land contamination.

Lead contamination above the Health Investigation Level for recreational levels was detected in soil samples taken from the site’s eastern boundary, and the reserve was closed to the community.

For further history on this issue, see the Contamination from Wangaratta Clay Target Club archive.

August 2018 update

Excavation of lead-contaminated soil at the North Wangaratta football oval is now complete. The soil contamination was from lead shot used in past shooting activities at the Wangaratta Clay Target Club (WCTC), adjacent to the football oval.

Following excavation of the contaminated material, soil testing has confirmed lead contamination has been reduced to a level that poses minimal risk to human health and the environment. The testing to confirm the clean up has been reviewed and approved by an independent auditor.

Works on the reconstruction of the oval are essentially complete. The playing surface has been re-sown, however it will take time for the surface to be at an acceptable standard for sporting activities.  Rural City of Wangaratta is overseeing reconstruction of the oval.

The contaminated soil has been temporarily stored on the WCTC premises. Management of this soil will be included in the cleanup plan required for the premises.

Groundwater management

Groundwater samples were taken from the WCTC premise in July 2018.  These samples showed several exceedances of the health guideline levels outlined in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) for lead, nickel and arsenic. 

The results indicate that lead and arsenic are present primarily in suspended solids within the samples taken (that is, in the dirt and sediment undissolved in groundwater), while nickel appears to be dissolved in the groundwater itself.

Investigations about groundwater contamination are continuing. Because of some inconsistency with previous testing, further groundwater monitoring will be required to confirm groundwater quality.

Groundwater in the area may be contaminated and should not be used for drinking.

For other uses of groundwater, such as irrigation and stock watering, groundwater should be tested regularly to ensure its suitability.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) offer residents  more information about private drinking water supplies

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 14 September 2018.  

Further information

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.

You can also visit our Contamination from shooting ranges web page.

Page last updated on 10 Jan 2019