Sharing stories of progressive domestic wastewater management

RMCG developed case studies to highlight progressive domestic wastewater management practices in Victoria, as well as communication material to explain recent technical changes to the state's environment framework.

On-site wastewater systems, such as septic tanks, are common across Australia in areas where it’s not practical or possible for households to connect to an existing sewerage system.

If these systems are not maintained or incorrectly installed, they can create public health and environmental issues. This is particularly important for areas such as the Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Ranges in Victoria, where thousands of properties rely on on-site domestic wastewater systems. It is crucial to ensure these systems perform effectively and are well managed to minimise risks to public health and the environment.

About this project

In 2021, RMCG developed a range of case studies for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to highlight progressive domestic wastewater management projects and practices in Victoria. They included efforts to ensure existing on-site systems were well maintained and monitored, as well as new trials and ‘outside the box’ approaches to traditional sewer systems.

Through interviews with key stakeholders, including local government and water authority representatives, our team used our expertise in communication, water and the environment to develop five case studies which outlined the challenges, innovations and lessons learnt in different approaches to managing domestic wastewater. The case studies focused on the Yarra Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula through to Penshurst in Victoria’s west and Porepunkah in the north-east.

As part of the project, communication materials were also prepared for the Environment Protection Authority (EPA Victoria) to explain recent technical changes to the new environment framework for managing on-site wastewater management systems in the state.

The case studies can be accessed below and you can find out more about managing on-site domestic wastewater systems in Victoria here.


Find out more about our expertise in water and the environment.

The town of Porepunkah, Victoria

The town of Porepunkah in north-East Victoria. Image supplied by North East Water.


Trent Wallis

Trent Wallis


BSc, MEnvSt, GDipPD(EnvSt)

Trent has an extensive background in environmental planning and natural resource management, with particular expertise in waterway management and planning. This includes 21 years of public sector experience working for catchment management authorities and the state government.

Trent’s work focuses on strategic environmental policy, planning and evaluation, and supporting project teams with the delivery of long-term catchment health outcomes. He is also experienced in community and stakeholder management, and has a strong understanding of the importance of genuine engagement to ensure project buy-in and support. He has worked with, and led, integrated project teams, stakeholder and community project committees, forums and working groups, and technical expert groups.

Dimi Kyriakou

Dimi Kyriakou

Communications Consultant

B.Comm. (Journalism)

Dimi is RMCG’s first dedicated Communications Consultant with expertise in content and strategy development, editing, website and social media curation, survey design and analysis, desktop publishing, media relations and crisis communications.

Dimi is passionate about delivering clear communications services to Australia’s agricultural, environmental and regional community sectors. She is skilled in communicating complex information in a clear and informative way that is easily understood by the target audience.

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.

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.

Steph McNulty

Steph McNulty

Senior Consultant

M.Env., B.Sci. (Marine Biology)

Steph has ten years’ experience working in environmental management. Key areas of knowledge include general ecology and environmental policy. She has specific skills in GIS analysis, project management and stakeholder consultation. Steph’s work has focused on the delivery of balanced, practical and effective environmental interventions.