Go to whole of WA Government search

Why does it take so long to get test results?

The process of assessing site contamination can be lengthy and will depend on the nature of sampling and testing required. Samples of soil, groundwater or vapour need to be collected in the field and then transported to laboratories for analysis.

The laboratories perform the analysis and perform checks on the test results prior to their release. Once received, test results need to be reviewed and interpreted by health and risk assessment specialists.

Monitoring at a site, such as groundwater, surface water or vapour monitoring, over a period of time is often a necessary part of contamination assessment and management. For example, it may be carried out to assess trends in contaminant behaviour or confirm the successful remediation or containment of contamination.

Often this means monitoring must be carried out over a long period of time to consider longer-term trends and seasonal variations.

When is the community told about a contaminated site? 

Information on all contaminated sites (known and suspected), which are reported to DWER, is available to the public. There are two ways to access information on reported sites: 

  • Contaminated sites database – information on confirmed contaminated sites is available online, free of charge.
  • Reported sites register – for information on other sites reported to DWER, any person may submit a Form 2 and applicable fee to DWER to obtain information held in relation to a particular property.

If a risk to public health is confirmed, DWER, and/or the responsible party, will directly advise the affected community.