BACTERIA and contaminants are flowing into ground and surface waters from more than 30,000 unsewered properties across the Mornington Peninsula.
The problem is compounded by inadequately maintained septic tank systems.
The shire is undertaking a septic monitoring program in unsewered areas, including Arthurs Seat, Red Hill and Point Leo, and looking at options to provide sewerage.
The program includes electronic monitoring and barcoding of septic tank systems in high-risk areas as well as providing advice to septic system owners through the Smart Septics program.
The shire’s new Domestic Wastewater Management Plan aims to prevent contamination from septic tanks along with connecting properties on the southern peninsula through South East Water’s ECO system and backlog sewerage programs.
The updated plan includes a “report card” that found that the management strategies in the shire’s 2007-14 Plan had all “been fully or substantially completed”.
The mayor Cr Bev Colomb said the environmental and health benefits of sewerage connection were evident in improved water quality in coastal townships after the provision of sewerage and the high sewer connection rates in recently-sewered townships.
“Through the Domestic Wastewater Management Plan, the shire will work closely with South East Water, Environment Protection Authority and other partners to increase sewer connection rates, better manage existing septic tank systems and continue to improve the health of our waterways,” she said.
The 2015-18 Domestic Wastewater Management Plan is available from the shire’s website mornpen.vic.gov.au
Details: Senior environmental health officer Peter O’Brien, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 5950 1865.