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Land Capability assessment needs a systematic approach to find the wastewater management capability of that land. Several factors are considered while investigating the environment and surrounding topography. Further lab testing is done to measure soil attributes, soil structure, soil plasticity, and hydraulic conductivity. You can hire professionals like Land Capability Assessment Victoria to council land capability assessment. You must be thinking “do i need a land capability assessment?”. Check out further to know more about LCA and its requirements for land development.

When do I need LCA?

 A LCA is required prior to the development of any land to find whether the existing land can contain all treated wastewater onsite or not. At different stages like subdivision and rezoning, the timing and level detail varies. If you are planning for development, take LCA in the early stages. Individual land owners and developers are responsible to conduct successful LCA before going for land development. All the LCA are done within the boundaries of Catchment Management Authorities.

Purpose of LCA

  • The primary purpose of the LCA is to calculate the site sustainability to manage the wastewater within the boundaries.
  • To sustainability utilise and manage wastewater within specific regions.
  • To determine the sensitive areas.
  • To collect the relevant geographical and social information to design the most sustainable onsite wastewater system. It will not harm the neighbourhood and the local environment from sewage pollution.
  • Also, to minimize the wastewater management on the environment.

A LCA report will help to find the risk on the particular land from wastewater management. It also helps you to provide the solution to resolve the risk, if it is possible. However, if the site is at low risk and you have sufficient information about the land, then LCA is not required.

Undertaking of LCA

LCA is based on the Code and other government guidelines and standards. The land details required to take LCA depends on the usage and constraints of the site. For successful land development, detailed land information is required about new sewage system land testing.

The reporting style may differ from the general approach and guidelines of the government. LCA conductors consults with council and other stakeholders about their requirements for LCA and reporting.

Steps to take and plan the LCA

  1. Consult with Stakeholders
  • Identify the site location and the locality.
  • Find the requirements of the landowner for a particular location. For example; if they are planning to build a home, then number of rooms, kitchen and more.
  • Consult with Council Staff including Town Planners, Environmental Health Officers, and Building Surveyors to find the requirements of LCA. For example, to conduct a successful LCA, tell the council, if it is in a Special Water Supply catchment or has a sensitive environment.
  • For some cases, you might need to consult with state government agencies like Water Authorities, DEPI, and Catchment Management Authority for successful land development.

All the above information should be included in the introductory section to clarify the site location and development requirement.

  1. Plan the Land Capability Assessment

By checking the online information along with the site owner, you can plan LCA for the land accordingly. Here is the information you can collect for the planning of LCA.

  • Collect the land zoning, property boundaries, and planning specifications.
  • Topographic mapping and position of surface waters.
  • Climate data and geographical mapping data.
  • Soil mapping, surveys, and testing data.
  • Nearby location of services like water, gas and electricity.
  • Environmental history like flooding, bushfire or Special Water Supply Catchment areas.

You can check all these things online or can hire online services like Land Capability Assessment Victoria for the successful development. This detailed information will help you to plan the LCA. For example: finding the sensitive area of the site can help you to manage the wastewater accordingly.

Include the key features like site boundaries, contour lines, surface waters in the beginning of the land report. Put a topographic map which will help the reader to see the local land features. However, the site should be located on the map clearly to find out the nearby localities.

  1. Field Work

The characteristics of soil and site will be investigated before starting any fieldwork. A successful LCA is done by considering the soil parameters and characteristics. LCA assessors use soil information as additional information to find more about the site and effect of wastewater on the site and nearby area.

  • This includes the walkover the entire site. Taking photos and making sketches will be really helpful for the site assessment.
  • Under fieldwork, collect information about the climate, erosion, groundwater level, land sustainability, and more.

You can write all this information as key site features. These are the important features to understand the site environment and past history.

  1. Soil Assessment

The purpose of the soil assessment is to find the soil sustainability and capability to assimilate the nutrient, salt and water. The wastewater management system is designed according to the soil capability to deal with it.

  • Collect information like cation exchangeability, colour, mottling and electrical conductivity.
  • High salinity might have good vegetative growth ability. However, sodic and dispersive soils are extremely common in Victoria.

However, before going for any land development it is important to do a Council Land Capability Assessment to check out the onsite sustainability towards wastewater management.