City of Greater Dandenong’s Officer for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) worked with concrete batching plants to prevent stormwater pollution.
A concrete batching plant is equipment that combines different materials to make concrete. Small and medium-scale batching plants don’t need a works approval or EPA licence to operate.
“We have guidelines, but many businesses have scope to improve their environmental practices,” the OPLE said.
The OPLE conducted inspections across many local businesses. They assessed practices and raised awareness about preventing stormwater contamination.
“I let the staff know that I’m there to work through any issues with them. All businesses I’ve inspected have been very willing to engage.”
One inspection of a concrete batching plant found concrete and other waste materials running off the premises.
“The site’s stormwater system was collecting wash-water and discharging it into a blocked street drain. The water was then trailing across the road into a second stormwater drain,” the OPLE said.
"The plant’s management team didn’t know they were potentially contaminating local stormwater. While that’s no excuse, they were very keen to fix the situation as soon as possible.”
Within days of EPA’s inspection, the management team installed concrete bunding in high-risk site areas to contain wastewater run-off.
“The bunding diverts wastewater into a wedge pit. That allows sediment to settle so they can return it to their recycling system. Most importantly, wastewater isn’t discharging from the site and entering nearby drains."
“I think most businesses are keen to do the right thing. It’s important that businesses make sure their onsite activities and equipment aren’t discharging into stormwater systems. Checking that drains are clear of litter and waste is also key to improving stormwater quality. This protects downstream water bodies like rivers and creeks.
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Reviewed 21 October 2021