Soil contamination testing
Council undertakes regular soil testing at its community garden sites.
Soil testing determines if soil contaminants are present in the gardening beds. Gardens that have been operating for some time may not have been tested in the past or have records of soil testing. It is important that soil testing is undertaken at all Port Phillip community gardens to ensure everyone is gardening in a safe environment.
Why does contamination exist at some sites?
Soil contaminants are common across inner city Melbourne due to Melbourne’s industrial history and historical land fill practices.
Council will test the soil of all Port Phillip community gardens as due diligence to ensure the safety of garden members and ensure Council has up to date records of soil tests for every community garden.
What does this mean for community gardens?
Council will notify community gardens prior to testing dates.
Soil samples will be collected and delivered to a laboratory for testing and then results collated into a report. This process will take approximately four weeks.
Soil test results determine if soil contaminants are present. If soil contaminants are higher than acceptable for use as a community garden, then remediation of the soil may be required. This may mean capping of the existing soil or removal of the existing soil. Additionally garden beds may need to be constructed above the capped soil.
What happens if a garden has contaminated soil?
If the soil test results show higher than acceptable levels of contaminants, then the garden will be closed until remediation works are completed. We will work with community garden members to design a new look and layout to ensure your garden can re-open and you can enjoy gardening, knowing it is in clean soil.
Could my property have contaminated soil?
If you are concerned about possible contamination in your backyard, Council advises you to have your soil tested by a specialised soil consultant.
The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) can provide you with accredited soil testers. (Fees apply for actual testing).
Contact details of contaminated land consultants can be found on the Australian Contaminated Consultants Association website.
If you have further concerns, you are welcome to contact EPA Victoria. All forms of pollutants can be reported to this authority.
Contact Park Services
Phone: 03 9209 6777
Post: Park Services, City of Port Phillip, Private Bag No. 3, St Kilda PO VIC 3182