27 Mar 2018

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.