The former Midlands Reserve Scout Hall at 705 Landsborough St Ballarat North was demolished in February.
Following the demolition, shallow excavation works on the building site found a layer of fill material, presumed to be ash or cinders, located beneath a layer of compacted gravel.
The City of Ballarat commissioned Enviroco Australia Pty Ltd to conduct soil tests to identify the extent of the material and any contamination.
Results of the tests indicated the presence of Benzo(a)pyrene in the shallow area beneath the former scout hall site.
Immediately following these results, the City of Ballarat commissioned testing at both the Midlands Kindergarten and Midlands Reserve Aquatic Play Space sites. These tests returned negative results for the presence of Benzo(a)pyrene.
The City of Ballarat has enacted a site remediation plan, and the contaminated soil will be removed by Enviroco Pty Ltd, as an Environment Protection Authority-(EPA) licensed contractor.
Enviroco will follow approved EPA processes to ensure that there is no impact to any surrounding areas or residents. The contaminated material will be disposed of at an EPA-approved, contained site. These works area expected to start in the first week of the school holidays.
The former scout hall site is fenced and secured. As a precaution, further soil testing will be done at the Midlands Aquatic Play Space and Midlands Kindergarten sites. Initial test results at these sites this month and during previous projects indicate the reserve is safe for continued community use and residents in the area are not impacted.
Families, staff and tenant groups at adjoining sites including Midlands Kindergarten, Ballarat Childcare Cooperative, Ballarat North Community Centre, as well as neighbouring properties, were informed today (Friday, 26/3).