Thank you for your thoughts on the draft Onsite Wastewater Management Plan (OWMP) 2024 - 2029

Building on the success of the previous Domestic Wastewater Management Plan 2019 - 2023, the purpose of the draft Onsite Wastewater Management Plan (OWMP) 2024-2029 is to develop a risk management assessment for managing the ongoing wastewater requirements throughout the Shire.

To help inform this draft plan a survey was conducted with the Yarra Valley Water Community Sewerage Program areas within the Shire including St Andrews, Panton Hill, Yarrambat, Hurstbridge, Plenty, Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen.

The survey and community conversations sought to determine the types of systems currently in use, the regularity of maintenance and the appetite for connection to reticulated mains sewer.

There are five focus areas outlined in the Onsite Wastewater Management Plan:

  1. Information and Data Collation
  2. Education and Awareness
  3. Sewer Connection and Community Sewerage Program (CSP)
  4. Regulation and Enforcement
  5. Collaboration and Review.

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Previous engagement

Nillumbik Shire Council has a comprehensive Community Engagement Program structure in place that is applied to the majority of Council projects.

During the implementation of the 2019-2023 Domestic wastewater managnemet paln (DWMP), Yarra Valley Water commenced the CSP prioritisation program in 2021, as part of the data collection for the prioritisation it was became evident that a significant focus of the 2023-2028 OWMP would be on reticulated sewer provision. The resulting community engagement consisted of a survey of the Community Sewerage Program areas of Nillumbik.

Onsite wastewater management survey

The primary tool used to capture the resident’s feedback and inform the priorities of the next plan was a ‘Domestic Wastewater Survey’. All residents within the Community Sewerage Program (CSP) areas of Nillumbik were invited to participate in the survey via mail or via an online version of the survey available to residents on the Participate Nillumbik website.

The CSP areas consist of the townships of St Andrews, Panton Hill, sections of Plenty, Wattle Glen and Yarrambat and outer areas of Eltham, Diamond Creek and Hurstbridge. A total of 342 surveys were distributed via mail with 62 respondents providing a total response rate of 18%.

The survey consisted of eleven questions. Grouped into two parts, the first to find out about existing onsite wastewater management systems, including what type of systems and the issues associated with them. The second part consisted of questions about whether people would be interested in opportunities to improve wastewater management, including options to connect to a piped sewer system and Council services.


The results of the survey show that within the community sewerage program areas there is an interest in connecting to sewer, wastewater reuse and increased opportunities for education or information about wastewater systems.

The interest in connection and wastewater reuse will be provided to the local water authority, Yarra Valley Water to assist with any design decisions for potential future sewer provision, particularly in township areas away from existing sewer networks.

The interest in additional information and updates can be addressed by Council via increasing the education opportunities to residents who own or operate an onsite wastewater systems throughout the Shire and will be added to the action plan of the 2023-2028 Onsite Wastewater Management Plan.