New stormwater standards for developers

The Karaaf wetlands. (Ivan Kemp)332167_02

By Jena Carr

Surf Coast developers will soon have access to new standards to help improve the design and construction processes of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) assets.

Surf Coast Shire Council adopted the Stormwater Treatment Asset Selection and Design Standards during its March 26 meeting.

Councillor Kate Gazzard said the standards outlined council’s requirements and expectations regarding the shire’s WSUD assets.

“It is important that each drainage is managed per that wetland, creek or river that it drains to,” she said.

“It’s good to have standards, which are not necessarily written in stone… These asset selection documents are specific to our area.

“They are based on Melbourne Water’s standards but tailored to our community needs, which are better suited to a smaller community rather than a big city.”

Cr Mike Bodsworth said WSUD assets played a vital role in the treatment of stormwater by improving its quality and was part of council’s work to improve the health of Torquay’s Karaaf Wetlands.

“It’s really important work, but I think it’s essential that we continuously improve this and that we do that in line with other expert organisations,” he said.

“This is an issue that’s important across the municipality… and these standards are a great contribution, as they’re going to sit alongside standards from other organisations.

“Ecological damage to the Karaaf Wetland that has resulted from excess stormwater of poor quality, has been a real wakeup call to us as a council around the management of stormwater.”

Council developed the standards through engagement with specialist consultants that have also been working on the Karaaf Wetlands project.

The standards will be considered alongside other industry-accepted documents, including the Melbourne Water Wetland Design Manual and EPA Urban Stormwater Best Practice guidelines.