Domestic wastewater management in North East Victoria


Municipalities across Victoria have responsibilities regarding onsite wastewater systems, often referred to as septic tanks, for houses not connected to reticulated sewerage. Regulations require Councils to have domestic wastewater management plans in place, and to periodically review the progress of action items identified in the plans.

RMCG recently completed domestic wastewater plans for two municipalities in North East Victoria.

The aim of onsite wastewater systems is to treat and contain all wastewater within the boundaries of the house lot. This is a challenge in high rainfall areas, where there are small lots within potable water supply catchments. Cumulative environmental and public health risks also need to be considered for expanses of rural residential living.

The work in the North East included:

  • Spatial risk assessments using a combination of data sets to rate all private land according to risk factors such as soil type, rainfall, density of onsite systems and proximity to potable water offtakes. Council officers will be able to use the results to focus their compliance efforts on sites that are higher risk.
  • Investigation of stormwater harvesting opportunities in selected towns without sewerage, but with known problems containing grey water on site.
  • Development of tools to streamline planning processes

For more information on domestic wastewater planning contact either Duncan Wallis or Anna Kelliher.


Duncan Wallis

Duncan Wallis


BEng (Ag), MEng (Env), CPEng.

Duncan is a Chartered Engineer with 25 years’ experience in environmental, irrigation, agricultural, drinking water, domestic wastewater, sewerage, trade waste, recycled water and catchment management engineering in the public and private sectors.

He specialises in water related infrastructure planning and investigations and uses skills and tools such as GIS mapping, spatial data analysis and network analysis to develop practical solutions to complex problems and uses the ‘power’ of spatial data analysis to convey information effectively.

He can communicate technical concepts in non-technical forums and has experience consulting and working with farmers and landholders, government departments and wider community on route planning for pipelines and shared trails including rail trails. He has recently prepared successful EPA works approval applications for major food processing companies and expert witness statements in agricultural settings.

Duncan is currently involved in Australian Water and Wastewater’s mentor program and reviews articles for their Water Journal. He previously helped run the Institute of Engineers’ EngQuest regional program for students.

Anna Kelliher

Anna Kelliher

Managing Principal

BA, BE (Hons), GAICD

Anna is an environmental engineer with 20 years’ experience in water and catchment management. She specialises in recycled water planning, irrigation modernisation, land capability assessment, environmental risk assessment and catchment condition reporting. Anna has experience working with industry, government, farmers and the community, and has developed sound teamwork, communication and project management skills.