Evacuate Brookland Greens Estate, Cranbourne, Warns Council

The level of methane in the wall cavity of this residence has now been confirmed at approximately 60 per cent, which represents a significant risk of the gas igniting or exploding. Further testing also found pockets of methane in the ground under the house. The concentration of the methane found in the ground was approximately 20 per cent. Methane can ignite when it reaches a level of between 5 and 15 per cent.

The levels of methane in some pits in the estate have also been higher than the EPA guidelines. These guidelines recommend relocation of all residents within a 250 metre radius of the point of detection.

Based on this information, the CFA believes that the situation has escalated as the level of methane being emitted from the landfill is continuing rather than decreasing.

After deliberation today with the EMT, the CFA wants residents situated within 250 metres of the residence on Powerscout Retreat consider relocation.

CFA and Council have organised a meeting tonight and tomorrow night, and an information tent will be set up at Brookland Greens Estate.

The decision to stay or relocate is one that needs to be made by each household.

At the meeting, the emergency authorities will update you on the current situation and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. Information will be provided by Council and the relevant emergency services.

Council is committed to ensuring that you continue to receive all the information about the situation so you can make informed decisions. If you feel the immediate need to discuss your situation with someone from Council please call 9705 5200.

Council and CFA understand that this will be a disruption to people living in the homes and understands there may be some inconvenience; however, community safety is the priority.

Explosions from landfill gas are not common but they have occurred in the USA and the UK in the past. There have been no occurrences in Australia, nor have there been any explosions in houses that are monitored.

It is important that residents attend the meeting so they can make an informed decision about the most appropriate option to take. The different options will be outlined at the meeting, but in summary they are to stay and increase the ventilation and monitoring of the house or to relocate until the methane levels start to decline.

Counselling can be arranged by the Cranbourne Information & Support Service (CISS). Please call 5996 3333 between 9.30 am and 4 pm weekdays. If phoning outside of those hours, your message will be responded to as soon as possible.


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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.