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About: Land Capability Assessments Victoria continued…

Specifically, a land capability assessment is a complex and thorough investigation which requires a systematic approach to assess the land’s wastewater management capability. Several characteristic and matrix investigations are undertaken to assess the site, the surrounding topography and environment. Furthermore, specific ground investigations (including field and laboratory testing) are required to consider and measure soil attributes within sub-soils (soil horizons) including the type of soils, the soil structure, soil plasticity, permeability and hydraulic conductivity. Further investigation into the land assessment include the land’s aspect, the exposure to sun and wind, the topography, slope and flood levels, erosion potential, proximity to watercourses, dams and bores, rainfall and the evaporation, transpiration, boundary setback distances, soil acidity, soil salinity and sodicity.

Land capability assessments are required for unsewered single residential property developments, multi-lot developments, small unsewered commercial operations and many unsewered residential extensions unless council indicates otherwise.

In the case of extensions, it is worth noting that many councils view additional extension rooms such as offices and rumpus rooms with an area greater than 7.5m2 are considered to be an additional bedroom and therefore council may require an land capability assessment (LCA), a wastewater design and an application to modify or replace your current septic system. People who are contemplating extensions often fail to consider this or budget for this important but often-forgotten amenity. Failure to factor an upgraded wastewater system could be the subject that makes or breaks a renovation and depending on how far into the planning phase you are, could mean wasted money. It is worth asking the questions: “Do I need to modify or replace my septic system”?, “how much land area is required to dissipate on-site wastewater?”, “what does a land capability assessment cost?”, and “what does a wastewater design, supply and install cost?”.

Beware claims of Cheap Land Capability Assessments because unqualified claimants or poorly conducted corner cutting may lead to serious breaches that may severely compromise and undermine the environment and public health and safety which can lead to civil claims against the owners and developers. As a guide, Land Capability Assessments cost about $1800 including GST for single house properties, however can vary depending on complexity, so an individualised quote should be sort. It must be remembered that Land Capability Assessments are complex which take professional time and due diligence to correctly assess to ensure wastewater management systems function and perform correctly and meet regulations and standards. Avoid expensive failures and get it done right the first time.

Contact Chris for a chat about your land capability assessment needs on 0400 372 763 or email our friendly staff for an obligation free quote at:

For Councils, Waterboards and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), the number one goal regarding an on-site wastewater management systems is to ensure that on-site domestic wastewater is managed and a system of controls are put in place so it doesn’t cause environment degradation, damage to the surrounding landscape or biodiversity, and doesn’t affect the health and safety of ecosystems including public health. A land capability assessment is integral to the process.

An LCA is a professional service that requires its practitioners conducting and reporting such assessments to be university qualified in specific fields related to environmental science, geoscience or civil engineering, and are industry trained with the necessary experience, professional indemnity and public liability insurances to carry out land capability assessments. Land capability assessors must consider first and foremost that the above environmental and safety characteristics meet the EPA code of practice for on-site wastewater management.

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