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Businesses must make sure their sites and operations don't pollute water. Water pollution happens when substances like oil and chemicals get in our rivers, lakes, creeks and bays.

Examples of water pollution from businesses include:

  • wastewater like sewage and industrial waste impacting water quality
  • dairy farms washing pesticides, fertilisers and animal manure into waterways
  • stormwater washing car oil, dust and building site sediment into drains
  • ship ballast water contaminating the sea. 

EPA protects water quality through the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters). We can fine businesses for polluting Victoria's water.

Follow the Urban stormwater best practice guidelines for help meeting stormwater regulations.

We also give guidance on how to conserve, reuse and recycle wastewater to help protect water in Victoria. 

Severe weather can impact water and sewage networks. Water companies have a responsibility to prevent water pollution during a weather emergency.

There are ways water companies can offset the impacts of wastewater getting into waterways. We call these water quality offsets.

Guidance for businesses

How to manage wastewater: for businesses

Wastewater discharges to waterways: for businesses

How to use wastewater

Dairy farms and water

Managing ships' ballast water 

Guidance for water companies

Severe weather: water company responsibilities

Water quality offsets for water companies


Learn about stormwater

Stormwater issues

Types and causes of stormwater pollution

Reducing stormwater pollution – a kit for businesses

Stormwater and clause 56 of the Victoria Planning Provisions

Stormwater harvesting and use

How to manage urban stormwater: for businesses

Building sites and stormwater

Protecting Victoria's water

What you can do to protect our water

Risk-based approach to protecting Victoria's waters

Reviewed 12 November 2019