Most urban areas have an intricate network of pipes with entry points to drain stormwater; however, in outer urban and rural areas there may be no piped infrastructure and stormwater is drained via open gutters.
Unlike sewage, most stormwater is not treated in any way before it enters waterways. Because stormwater is not treated prior to entering waterways, activities in the catchment have a direct influence on the quality of stormwater and hence the quality of water in our rivers, creeks and wetlands.
Stormwater run-off has been identified as a major contributor to degradation in many environments. As such, the Victorian Government, through the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and other agencies, is supporting local councils in the development of Stormwater Management Plans (SWMPs), the objective of which is to:
- identify actions to improve the environmental management of urban stormwater and protect the environmental values and beneficial uses of receiving environments.
Moira Shire Council was one of the first shires to respond to support offered from the State Government. By recognising the need to improve urban stormwater management, Moira Shire Council developed a SWMP and has stated an objective for improved stormwater management, which aims to:
- facilitate the improved management of stormwater within towns and villages of the Moira Shire and to improve the health and quality of local waterways and catchments.
Moira Shire’s SWMP is now due for review, to insure it remains relevant. This review is expected to begin shortly.
Stormwater and Water Sensitive Urban Design
Moira Shire Council is taking a new approach to stormwater management, by using the principles of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in its new streetscape design for the Cobram town centre.
Developments that use WSUD are carefully designed, with the consideration of stormwater as a valuable asset that should be protected and conserved.
There is a broad range of small and large-scale projects managed by Moira Shire Council throughout the Council area that aim to improve stormwater quality and reduce flooding risks.
One of the most prominent examples in the Moira Shire is the use of man-made and natural wetland systems that filter stormwater prior to it reaching our waterways.
Other projects and activities include:
- backwash from the Yarrawonga Waste Water Treatment Plant directed into urban wetlands before discharge into Lake Mulwala;
- water from the Yarrawonga urban wetlands pumped to a water holding dam for the irrigation of Yarrawonga sporting grounds;
- harvested stormwater from the Numurkah township reused on parks and gardens as well as sporting grounds;
- stormwater reuse into cisterns at Council's outdoor swimming pools;
- stormwater monitoring across the Shire;
- future development of new urban wetlands; and
- gross pollutant traps (GPTs) throughout the Shire that are regularly cleaned.
Water Efficient Schools
Within Moira Shire (and most of Australia), schools are installing rainwater tanks, subsurface irrigation, dual flush toilets and other water efficient appliances to help reduce their water consumption and educate students.
Many schools have received grants to assist in these water conservation measures.
Many schools have also participated in Stormwater Education Days that are organised through the Goulburn-Broken Stormwater Project.
Contact your local school to find out about what it is doing to save water.
For further information, please contact the Moira Shire Council Environmental Sustainability Officer.