Former landfill site - Rendezvous Road Vasse

Published on Thursday, 4 May 2023 at 3:24:00 PM

The quality of groundwater at and in an area around (to the north) of the former landfill site on Rendezvous Road, Vasse has reduced as a result of legacy issues from the use of this site as a former landfill facility, and also potentially from other current and historical uses in the area.

The City was required to undertake investigations in respect to these legacy issues in accordance with the statutory framework under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 (WA). A well network, comprising of 56 specially constructed monitoring wells, has been used for testing shallow groundwater. Over the years shallow groundwater from a number of private bores, dams and wells has also been tested.

The contaminants of concern that were identified are hydrocarbons (e.g. solvents, degreasing agents and related breakdown products), arsenic (formed by the bio-chemical processes associated with landfill activities) and PFAS (Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances). PFAS are fluorine-containing chemicals which have been used since the 1950’s for the manufacture of products that resist heat, oil and water, such as such as firefighting foams, but also food wrappings, pots and pans, clothing and furniture. Indications are that historic landfill activities at the former landfill site brought household waste containing PFAS in contact with shallow groundwater (and not firefighting foams, as the PFAS levels at the former landfill site are a considerable order of magnitude less than what has been identified at defence and airport sites).

Following the most recent groundwater monitoring events, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) indicated that it is satisfied that the extent of the groundwater contaminant plumes have been delineated by the existing monitoring bore network and have been assessed as generally stable over time. In general terms the latest test results did not give rise to any new or further concerns and in relation to some of the contaminants of concern, indicated that the extent of the contamination plume was slightly reduced compared to some of the previous test results.

These findings enabled DWER to make final decisions (pursuant to the Contaminated Sites Act) in relation to restrictions on the use of shallow groundwater and associated classification of affected properties in this area.

Mayor Grant Henley said “The City has met with affected landowners to discuss the impacts of water restrictions and classification of properties and the City’s commitment is to work with affected landowners to find mutually acceptable solutions for these issues.”

Chief Executive Officer, Tony Nottle said “I can confirm that adequate provision has been made in the City’s budget for complying with the statutory obligations in relation to contamination issues, as well as for resolving issues arising from the impact on private properties.”

“Issues such as legal liability and property valuations will, in all likelihood, be part of ongoing discussions with affected landowners. Due to the sensitive and confidential nature of these issues, the City is not in a position to publicly disclose any further information at this stage.”

Further information can be found here

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2021 - 2031) Key Themes Environment: An environment that is valued, conserved and enjoyed by current and future generations.

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