Oval’s lead con­tam­i­na­tion not as deep as first feared

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

LEAD con­tam­i­na­tion of North Wan­garatta foot­ball oval is not as deep as first feared, mean­ing far less soil will need to be ex­ca­vated, sav­ing time and money.

Ru­ral City of Wan­garatta chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Brendan McGrath said ex­ten­sive tests had shown the pen­e­tra­tion of lead pel­lets from the ad­join­ing gun club over many decades was gen­er­ally shal­lower than orginally ex­pected.

“We were think­ing we would have to re­move soil to a depth of 300 to 500 mil­lime­tres from the con­tam­i­nated area, but in­stead we’re look­ing at a depth of 100 to 150 mil­lime­tres,” Mr McGrath told the Wan­garatta Chron­i­cle on Fri­day.

Around a third of the oval will need to have con­tam­i­nated soil re­moved.

And the en­tire oval is to be re­con­structed and re­shaped, with new drainage and ir­ri­ga­tion ex­pected to de­liver a ‘first class’ fa­cil­ity.

But the big ques­tion still re­mains when - with the North Wan­garatta Foot­ball Net­ball Club hav­ing been with­out full use of the oval since May last year.

“We are work­ing to­wards get­ting ev­ery­thing done as early as pos­si­ble,” Mr McGrath said.

Coun­cil ex­pects to put ten­ders out next month for soil ex­ca­va­tion and re­moval works, along with the oval’s re­con­struc­tion, and is hop­ing the project will start be­fore Christ­mas.

Mr McGrath said dis­cus­sions were also con­tin­u­ing into whether the con­tam­i­nated soil can be dis­posed of on the ad­join­ing Wan­garatta Gun Club land, in­stead of the Bowser land­fill or a site in Mel­bourne - which would save both time and money.

“Our pre­ferred op­tion is the gun club...we’re still talk­ing to the club and EPA on this,” he said.

PHOTO: Emma Hil­lier

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