Allenby Gardens and Flinders Park
Groundwater Prohibition Area
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) established the Allenby Gardens and Flinders Park groundwater prohibition area (GPA) in June 2013. The GPA prohibits the use of groundwater from the top 2 aquifers, which are situated between 0–30 m below the surface of the ground.
Moorfield Terrace, Allenby Gardens – redevelopment site
The site situated at Moorfield Terrace, Allenby Gardens, and considered the source of the groundwater contamination, is currently being redeveloped for residential use.
To ensure the site is suitable for the intended use the developer has engaged a site contamination auditor, who is required to prepare a site contamination audit report, documenting the auditor’s opinion regarding the site’s suitability for residential use.
An audit report was completed for Stage 1 of the residential redevelopment in January 2019. The auditor has stated that the Stage 1 area is suitable for residential use subject to various conditions and redevelopment of this portion of the site has commenced.
The Stage 1 audit conditions include a requirement for ongoing monitoring of groundwater contamination both within the audit area and offsite within the Allenby Gardens and Flinders Park GPA. This work will contribute to the information that will be presented in the Stage 2 site contamination audit report.
In addition to the groundwater monitoring, further soil vapour investigations are being undertaken to inform the Stage 2 audit. The soil vapour assessments are being undertaken across and surrounding the Stage 2 audit area. On 9 August 2019, Riverside Park wrote to residents living in the vicinity of existing sampling locations, advising that further sampling would occur in August 2019.
On 10 January 2020, Riverside Park provided an update to the residents regarding the results of the assessment undertaken in August and September 2019. The auditor considers that groundwater contamination concentrations are similar to previous monitoring events, which suggests the groundwater contamination is stable. Residents were also advised that further soil vapour assessment will be undertaken in early 2020 with further updates to the community to be provided by Riverside Park over the coming months
The stage 2 site contamination audit remains in progress and is estimated to be completed in late 2020.
The developer engaged an EPA accredited site contamination auditor in August 2014, to ensure the site at Moorfield Terrace is suitable for the proposed residential development. The role of the auditor is to independently review the assessment and remediation being carried by consultants on behalf of the developer, to ensure its consistency with the requirements of the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure (NEPM) and EPA guidelines. The NEPM was amended in May 2013 and includes standards for the testing of volatile chemicals.
In September 2015 the EPA received Interim Audit Advice issued by the auditor to support the development at the Moorfield Terrace site. The auditor considers the site can be made suitable for the proposed medium density residential use, subject to the implementation of the remediation management plan endorsed by the auditor.
The current audit was completed in 2017. A site contamination audit report was prepared by the auditor on completion of the audit. During the audit process, assessment and remediation works are carried out by consultants and documented in various reports, which are provided to the auditor.
An earlier site audit report was completed for the Moorfield Terrace site by another auditor in 2009, which determined that the site was suitable for a previous development that was proposed at that time, and which included requirements for ongoing monitoring of groundwater wells situated in onsite and offsite locations.
The known groundwater contamination includes the volatile solvents; trichloroethene, dichloroethene and vinyl chloride. The site audit report and other reports on the ongoing groundwater monitoring are available on the public register.
Letters to residents
What is the risk of contamination to residents?
Poor quality and polluted groundwater can seriously threaten the health and viability of communities, agricultural operations and the environment. The EPA advises that the groundwater in this area is contaminated and should not be used for any purpose. Coming into contact with it can pose a serious risk to human health.
This is especially the case if you ingest it by drinking it, use it to water your fruit and vegetables, wash your food or cook with it (even if it is boiled). If it is used to water the garden or lawns, fill a pool or top up a rainwater tank, it creates the opportunity for dermal exposure to the chemicals of concern with absorption through the skin.
Contaminated groundwater should also never be used to wash down paths or the driveway or even as grey water such as toilet flushing. Preventing the extraction of contaminated groundwater is necessary to protect human health and also to prevent the spread of contamination. Spreading is caused by drawing water towards a property if the groundwater is being extracted from a bore.
Is it safe to water fruit and vegetables with tap or rainwater?
Rainwater and mains water (tap water) are not affected by groundwater contamination.
Home-grown fruit and vegetables are safe to consume, provided you are not watering them with bore water.
Sites that were formerly industrial may have further restrictions that you should be aware of. Please see the Form 1 Statement that was provided to you at the time of purchase, or contact the EPA if you would like to find out more information.