Licences and approvals

Groundwater around Melbourne Regional Landfill

Why is it a concern?

If landfills are not properly located, designed and managed, the landfill leachate (liquid that has been in contact with or generated by waste) can sit within or very close to groundwater. This can contaminate groundwater if it is not properly contained. 

Contaminated groundwater can produce a range of potential human health effects, depending on the pollutants and the way the groundwater is used.

How was it assessed?

EPA assessed if there would be sufficient separation between the bottom of the waste in the landfill, and the groundwater under the landfill.

EPA determined that the proposed cells in the South Portion of the landfill did not have sufficient separation and that additional design and management measures were needed to better protect the groundwater.

Consequently, Landfill Operations proposed additional design and management measures. With these modified measures, EPA assessed the risk of groundwater contamination (and the potential risk to human health) to be low.

How will it be managed?

EPA has issued strict conditions about groundwater management in the Works Approval. These include:

  • additional design (such as more layers of liners at the bottom of the landfill) and management measures
  • an audit to ensure that groundwater bores are functioning effectively
  • installation of additional groundwater monitoring bores
  • preparation and maintenance of a groundwater bore register
  • improved groundwater quality sampling, testing and monitoring.

Page last updated on 24 Mar 2017