Western Water and Macedon Ranges Shire council have introduced a new sewer system and upgrades to nearly 50 septic tanks within the Mount Macedon area (VIC) with over 80 properties now receiving access to healthy and safe wastewater.
The two phase project has been implemented through a partnership between Western Water and Macedon Ranges Shire Council through funding from the Victorian Government.
Council’s role in the project has been to coordinate the upgrade of private septic systems in the town that pose a risk to community health and the environment. Nearly 50 properties are now fully compliant with EPA requirements, with a further seven properties to be completed between now and the end of June.
A project officer was employed by Council to conduct a large-scale audit of 431 properties in the project area, which identified septic systems that were in need of upgrade.
The audit identified failing septic tank systems on smaller house blocks that were unable to keep their waste on-site, and properties with failing systems that were close to local waterways.
The owners of these properties were given the opportunity to upgrade their property’s wastewater system to comply with EPA requirements, with 70 per cent of the total cost covered by the funding scheme.
“A well-functioning septic system prevents harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause infection and illness from entering our local waterways,” said Mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson.
“Given that this was a voluntary program, it was really pleasing that all of the highest risk properties who were approached took advantage of this scheme.”
Council has also developed an education package for property owners with information on how to maintain their system to prolong its life and minimise health risks. Each property owner will receive an information pack containing a current permit, a site plan and education material.
“Council would like to thank Western Water for the opportunity to partner in this unique project as it is the first time a Victorian Council has been involved in the funding of upgrades to onsite wastewater systems.
“We have also appreciated the cooperation, support and positive feedback the community has shown throughout the project. It’s clear that the residents of Mount Macedon take great pride in their town, and value the improvements that have been made to community and environmental health through this project,” said Cr Anderson.