Rendezvous Road groundwater issues

Published on 04 Apr 2018 (last updated: 16 Apr 2018)

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Updated Testing

Groundwater testing in respect of the former landfill site on Rendezvous Road has continued, undertaken for the City by qualified consultants, reviewed by an accredited Contaminated Sites Auditor and advised to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

The further testing has identified PFAS substances in groundwater, at the former landfill site and at properties immediately across Rendezvous Rd. Owners of properties tested have been advised. Further testing is required to determine any presence in groundwater under other properties.

For the properties tested to date there is no change in potential risk, as groundwater should not be used for any purpose without testing.

The City will continue to work with the Department and State Government. More information about PFAS is available from:

The attached map indicates properties north of the former landfill site that warrant further investigation in respect to shallow groundwater quality. Residents who live within the area marked can request their bore water to be tested by the City completely free of charge. To arrange for testing, or for any questions, please call 9781 0359.

Media enquiries can be directed to media@busselton.wa.gov.au

What is the contamination?

The quality of groundwater has been reduced as a result of legacy issues from the use of the former landfill site along Rendezvous Road and also potentially from other historical uses in the area.

Groundwater in the area has shown levels of hydrocarbons, metals, nutrients and PFAS above background levels.

What properties may be affected?

The map on the City’s website shows properties north of the former landfill site that warrant further investigation in respect to shallow groundwater quality. It is properties between:

  • Rendezvous Rd to the South;
  • Queen Elizabeth Ave to the East;
  • The Busselton Bypass to the North; and
  • Peppermint Way to the West.

Properties that should have been reported to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation based on available information have been reported.

The Department has classified some of the reported properties as:

  • Contaminated – Restricted Use; and
  • Possibly contaminated – Investigation required.

The Department has not yet classified all reported properties, further test results are pending. 

If your property has been reported or classified you should have already been notified by the Department. 

Other properties will be reported to the Department and classified if required.

Further information in relation to properties in this area potentially affected by contamination can be found on Department of Water and Environment Regulation website here

Can I use my bore?

For properties reported and classified by the Department as "Contaminated – Restricted Use" the use of groundwater is not permitted for any purpose. 

If your property is within the area, groundwater should not be used unless it has been tested and cleared for use.

There are no impacts other than to groundwater.

If you are using scheme water or rain water in a tank then you should not be affected.

What is PFAS?

Recent testing has identified PFAS in the groundwater at some properties. 

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, are fluorine-containing chemicals which have been used since the 1950’s for the manufacture of products that resist heat, oil and water. 

In more recent times there has been concern about potential PFAS contamination of groundwater. This has primarily focused on sites where firefighting foams have been used, including at defence and airport sites, which is not the case at this site. 

As the awareness of the presence of these substances is recent, testing for them at the former Rendezvous Rd landfill site started from mid 2017. PFAS was identified in groundwater at the former landfill site and advised to the Department in July 2017. Since that time further testing has been conducted which has identified PFAS in groundwater at properties immediately north of Rendezvous Rd. Further testing will be undertaken to determine any presence in groundwater under other properties.

There is no change in potential risk, as groundwater should already not be used for any purpose without testing. 

The levels of PFAS identified are a considerable order of magnitude less than what has been identified at defence and airport sites. 

Research into potential health effects of PFAS is ongoing around the world. To date there is not enough information available to definitively say what, if any, health effects may be caused by exposure to PFAS.

More information about PFAS is available from:

Can I get my water tested?

Residents who live within the area can request their bore water to be tested by the City completely free of charge. 

Is an alternate water source available?

Only a small number of properties within the investigation area have been using shallow groundwater. The City is in process of constructing a water distribution mains along the eastern end of Rendezvous Road. Upon completion of this project by May 2018, all properties within the investigation area will have access to scheme water.

In respect of some of the properties within the investigation area the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has advised the landowners/residents they should not use shallow groundwater until investigations are completed. The City may, as an interim measure until investigations have been completed and upon requests from these landowners/residents, consider providing temporary assistance for accessing water.

Other long term solutions may be put in place following completion of investigations.

What action is the City taking?

Further testing is underway to determine the extent of any contamination, the potential causes and best approaches to managing the issue. 

City Officers have been in regular contact with homeowners and residents since detailed testing of groundwater samples in the area commenced in 2016. 

The City has also complied with the requirements for reporting to the Department having reported the former landfill site under the Contaminated Sites Act by May 2007.  The site has been registered with the Department and on the public record since that time. 

PFAS was identified in groundwater at the former landfill site and advised to the Department in July 2017. Since that time further testing has been conducted which has identified PFAS in groundwater at properties immediately across Rendezvous Rd. Further testing is required to determine if PFAS is in groundwater at other properties.

What is the timeline?

Testing (that is, taking and analysing water samples and interpreting laboratory results) is expected to be completed in 2018, subject to the outcome of these results and any further Departmental requirements.

Once testing has been completed, the City of Busselton should be in a position to determine liability (if any) and long term solutions (at this stage expected to be completed by second quarter 2019).

I have concerns, what can I do?

You can contact the City or  the Department. See www.dwer.wa.gov.au 

Who regulates contaminated sites in WA?

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. 

They can be contacted for further information. See www.dwer.wa.gov.au