Testing Reveals Reduced Groundwater Quality

Published on 14 December 2016

Properties North of Former Busselton Tip Site.jpeg

Recent testing by the City of Busselton confirms that the quality of groundwater immediately to the north of Lots 500 and 27 in a specific section opposite the former tip site along Rendezvous Road, Busselton has been degraded as a result of legacy contamination of that site.   These findings impact some properties drawing water from shallow bores in the vicinity and the City is working with these residents to implement precautionary measures until further testing has been completed and the full impact of the contamination defined.

City Officers have been in regular contact with homeowners and residents since detailed testing of groundwater samples in the area commenced some years ago.  Homeowners and residents have been briefed on these latest test results and some lots along Rendezvous Road (immediately north of the former tip site) have, in accordance with Department of Environment Regulation and Department of Health recommendations, been advised to restrict their potable use of shallow groundwater (that is water drawn from a dam or a bore to a depth of less than 50m).

These residents have been recommended not to use shallow groundwater for potable purposes such as drinking water, food preparation (e.g. washing fruit and vegetables, washing dishes), showers, bathing, filling wading pools and washing clothes. Only a small number of properties within the investigation area are reliant upon shallow groundwater for domestic potable use.  The City of Busselton is offering to supply potable water to residential tanks in the short term until investigations have been completed.  Other long term supply solutions may be put in place following completion of investigations.

The attached map indicates properties north of the former tip 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 please call  9781 0359.

Director of Engineering and Works Services, Oliver Darby said that the City kept residents briefed on the situation and provided all testing results. “Residents and homeowners have supported the testing process.  Obviously they are very keen to ensure investigations continue so we can get a thorough understanding of the situation and determine the best course for remedial action if required.”

These days waste is disposed under very strict environmental controls that prevent leakage of contaminates into the groundwater. Unfortunately that was not the case in years gone by and like many other Local Governments we are faced with contamination issues from sites that operated sometimes more than 30 years ago. The City of Busselton introduced a special waste levy 5 years ago to proactively deal with these legacy waste issues. We’ve also invested in the development of new fully-lined waste landfill disposal cell at Vidler Road which will provide around 20 years capacity for waste disposal while meeting the most stringent environmental standards.”

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with Key Goal Area 5: Our natural environment is cared for and enhanced as our key asset. Key Goal Area 6: A Council that engages with its community and makes responsible decisions, representing community needs and aspirations.  

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