water testing near a waste facility

City of Ballarat ordered to re-cover landfill waste

EPA Victoria (EPA VIC) has issued the City of Ballarat with a remedial notice that requires it to re-cover waste from the former Black Hill Landfill exposed during the construction of a swale drain.

An EPA VIC officer had checked the 150-metre long drain along the southern boundary of the old site during an inspection. This found waste material consistent with what would be found at a landfill, including plastics, bricks, bottles and cans.

“The notice issued by EPA requires the council to modify the swale drain on the southern boundary of the premises to cover exposed landfill waste by the end of September,” said EPA Victoria South West Manager Eve Graham.

The EPA officers also noticed water flowing in the swale drain and into a stormwater pit. As the Yarrowee River is just 100 metres from the south-east end of the former landfill, they were concerned about this water flowing through uncovered waste that could end up in the river.

As a result, EPA VIC has asked the City of Ballarat to provide it with a full report 30 November detailing how far the waste extends beyond the former Black Hill Landfill site.

The notice followed one issued by EPA VIC in June, when the council was asked to detail exactly where waste extended beyond the boundary of its former Black Hill Landfill, which was rezoned as a recreation reserve. That communication was issued after historic aerial photographs and sampling undertaken from nearby residential land indicated that waste was likely to have extended beyond what was thought to have been the boundary of the landfill that operated between 1978 and 1982.