Councils play a significant role in improving the environmental management of urban stormwater. This includes obligations under the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria) to:

  • develop stormwater management plans
  • implement effective management practices, particularly for new developments and drainage systems
  • prevent wastewater discharges to stormwater drains
  • monitor and report to the community and relevant stakeholders on the impact of stormwater drains on surface waters
  • ensure new and retrofit developments include effective design measures and practices to manage stormwater run-off volumes and minimise pollutant run-off in stormwater
  • provide educational material on stormwater management and pollution avoidance.

EPA provides support and guidance to help councils meet their obligations under the SEPP (Waters of Victoria).

Local stormwater management plans allow councils to take an integrated approach to urban stormwater quality. Plans should consider all council functions and the impact they have on stormwater quality.

An effective stormwater management plan (SWMP) must:

  • have council-wide commitment, both to the plan and its implementation
  • set priorities for the council's management of urban stormwater
  • include clearly stated strategic objectives
  • incorporate a risk-based assessment of issues and threats
  • include strategies with clear actions that address priority risks, together with measurable environmental outcomes wherever possible
  • follow the principle of continuous improvement
  • engage all stakeholders
  • have been successfully developed using best-practice methodology.

Read next

Urban stormwater best practice environmental management guidelines (published by CSIRO)

Reducing stormwater pollution: business and industry

About stormwater

Harvesting and using stormwater

Stormwater and building sites

Stormwater and planning

Water corporation responsibilities during a severe weather event


This page was copied from EPA's old website. It was last updated on 6 July 2012.

Reviewed 2 September 2020