As Victoria grows, so do the number of sealed surfaces like roofs and roads. Rainfall on these sealed surfaces becomes surface run-off, or urban stormwater.

Stormwater can carry pollutants into waterways, wetlands, beaches and bays. Large amounts of urban stormwater cause erosion and harm aquatic ecosystems.

Urban stormwater management requirements

There are various requirements to manage urban stormwater and minimise risks of harm to human health and the environment. There are requirements under the Environment Protection Act 2017, including:

There are also requirements under other legislation. This includes building, planning and water legislation. 

How to manage risks from urban stormwater

The Urban stormwater management guidance (publication 1739) provides important information that can help:

  • understand the risks from urban stormwater
  • improve the management of urban stormwater in Victoria.
  • support the preventative focus of the GED
  • minimise the risk of harm to human health and the environment through good environmental practice
  • support the planning and design of new urban stormwater management systems.

The guidance:

  • highlights the risk of how the creation of sealed (impervious) surfaces can cause to waterways and bays
  • provides general objectives and information to support risk assessment and minimisation
  • explains stormwater management for communities in Victoria.

CSIRO published the Urban stormwater best practice environmental guidelines (BPEM) in 1999.

Under the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) many developments must meet the BPEM objectives. This means they must reduce levels of certain substances compared to the typical urban annual load.

  • suspended solids: 80 per cent
  • phosphorus and nitrogen: 45 per cent
  • litter: 70 per cent.

The Urban stormwater management guidance (publication 1739) adds to the state of knowledge. The state of knowledge includes all the information you should reasonably know about managing your risks. This may include information from: 

Reviewed 8 May 2024