The Glenlyon Recreation Reserve is a popular site for locals and visitors to Glenlyon to undertake a range of activities.

In 2019, the potential for soil contamination at the Glenlyon Recreation Reserve was identified and a qualified, experienced and independent consultant, Beveridge Williams, completed a Preliminary Soil Contamination Assessment – Attachment-11-Report-Glenl~Assessment-22-11-2019-(sep) – in November 2019. The assessment showed elevated levels of lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in central areas of the reserve.

Following this assessment, Council self-notified these results to the regulator, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), and under direction from EPA, implemented precautionary measures to reduce public health risks and further pollution on the site. These precautionary measures enabled continued modified use of the site and included: public health signage; fencing; assistance to Reserve User Groups with event management planning; watering down of soil to reduce dust generated by horses and vehicles and, a temporary suspension of shooting activities on the site. The implementation of these measures by Council was supported by the Section 86 Glenlyon Recreation Reserve Special Committee and Reserve User Groups.

In January 2020, the EPA issued a Clean-Up Notice that required an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) – Attachment-12-Report-Glenl~serve-Soil-Investigation-(sep) to assess the extent and level of contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water on the site. The legal notice required the ESA to be completed in accordance with the National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM) (Assessment of Site Contamination) 1999.

As a result, Council engaged a qualified and experienced, independent consultant, Kleinfelder, to undertake the ESA. This assessment was completed and submitted to the EPA on 27 May 2020 to meet the requirements of the Clean Up Notice.

Council will continue to meet the requirements as directed by the EPA, including maintaining current precautionary measures. The Landowner, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), was notified and involved in discussions. It will continue to be kept informed during the project.

The Reports

The ESA report found the extent and severity of soil contamination is less than indicated in the preliminary assessment.

The preliminary assessment used X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology (a hand-held device for immediate assessment) to determine contaminant levels and found that lead and PAH levels were higher than the NEPM levels for recreational use. This was appropriate to provide an immediate understanding of the issue and inform decision-making.

The second assessment, the ESA, was completed in accordance with the NEPM. This assessment used a laboratory-based soil testing method. It included soil sampling at 100 locations, ground water sampling at 4 boreholes, and water sampling at three locations (2 water courses discharging to Loddon River and Glenlyon Community Dam), which were analysed by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) certified lab.

Key findings from the ESA:

Lead contamination

Results show that lead contamination is lower than indicated in the preliminary assessment. In the ESA, lead contamination levels were reported below the NEPM Health Investigation Level applicable for recreation areas.

PAH contamination

As found in the preliminary findings, results show that PAH contamination is elevated and above NEPM Health Investigation Level for recreational areas, within the racecourse perimeter.

Ground water and surface water

Results show that both groundwater and surface water have not been affected by the lead or PAH contamination.

Soil testing in other areas of the Reserve

Soil testing results in the areas of high community use (e.g. playground, camping) and at other potential construction sites (e.g. BBQ area, pony yards, disability mounting block, pavilion) did not identify lead or PAH contamination that represent either a human or environmental risk.

A meeting was held on Saturday 8 August 2020. Click here for a copy of the presentation from the Community Briefing (08 August 2020) – Glenlyon Recreation Reserve

Following the community briefing and last update in August, Council has begun procurement for the next stage to meet a Clean Up Notice issued by the EPA to develop a Clean Up Plan for the Glenlyon Recreation Reserve. This Clean Up Plan will be developed by an independent consultant and verified by an EPA accredited Auditor.

The Clean Up Plan will inform what management and/or what remediation works may be required to be undertaken at the Glenlyon Recreational Reserve.

At the moment, we are hoping to have this Clean Up Plan completed by end of May 2021.

Given the results of the detailed Environmental Site Assessment and a subsequent Pollution Abatement Notice issued to Council by the EPA to maintain interim public health precautionary measures at the Reserve, temporary fencing and signage has been installed. Essentially these fences allow more use of the reserve, however we are taking a precautionary approach to fencing these areas and the Clean-up Plan will determine if and what remediation may be required.

This fencing:

  • assists to precautionary delineate areas where concentration levels of lead and PAH were found to be elevated compared to the relevant national guideline limits;
  • assists in delineating areas available to use for possible events at the reserve and
  • will be reviewed during the Clean Up Plan process and areas may reduce slightly following assessment.

The 8 approximate areas where fencing has been installed are shown by the map below. These fenced off areas have the following signage installed:

Fence at Glenlyon

Caution fences at Glenlyon Recreation Reserve