EPA’s GardenSafe helps you dig a little deeper into backyard soil. It is a free, soil screening initiative that turns you into a soil sleuth, equipping you with the knowledge and resources to manage the use of your backyard soil.
All you need to do is send in three garden soil samples for screening. EPA will assess the samples for common contaminants and garden soil quality indicators. This includes 8 trace elements such as:
- Lead, a legacy contaminant that can be common near industrial or built-up areas
- Arsenic, which may be found in areas near mine tailings
They’ll also look at soil quality indicators such as:
- Soil composition
- Organic carbon
- Soil nutrients phosphorus and potassium
They’ll then send a report detailing your soil screening results and how to interpret them.
As a science-based regulator, this data will help EPA better understand baseline contaminant levels in backyards across Victoria, especially in urban areas.
It will also help to inform the approach to environmental public health – to raise awareness about reducing risk and exposure to potential contaminants.