Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) Reports

All councils in Victoria require WSUD to be addressed for most planning/development applications. In addition some councils, such as the City of Port Phillip, Stonnington, Bayside and Moonee Valley City Council, require planning applications to address stormwater quality, even if the development wouldn't trigger a WSUD assessment under the statewide provisions. Generally a WSUD Response Report is required as part of the application requirements but it can also be a condition of permit. But why do the planning provisions require stormwater quality to be assessed and WSUD measures to be implemented?

Rainwater runoff contains pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorous, suspended solids and gross pollutants (litter). In its natural state, the environment deals with these pollutants through biofiltration through microbe-containing soil and root systems. However in a conventional urban context, rainfall runoff lands on roofs, paving and other hard surfaces and is discharged directly to local waterways via an impermeable stormwater system. When these pollutants hit the waterways they can create conditions that cause an ecological imbalance, can harm flora and fauna and can cause toxic algal blooms. WSUD measures are used to "treat" stormwater through biofiltration, retention and reuse of rainwater as well as non-biofiltration measures such as gross pollutant traps and permeable paving.

We can help you meet the requirements. EcoResults will assess your development in conjunction with your architect, engineer, landscape architect, and any other relevant consultants, to advise on what will be required to meet the council's requirements, using a tool such as STORM, MUSIC or similar. We will then issue a report stating how the development complies with the stated planning policy for Stormwater quality improvement.

The options to achieve compliance vary greatly, and need to be considered on a project by project basis, to achieve the best solution for each site. Some of the compliance measures include onsite detention and reuse by means of a rainwater tank connected to toilet flushing, raingardens, infiltration garden beds and other WSUD features and methods. EcoResults will liaise with your council, landscape architect and drainage designer as required to ensure that the WSUD and Stormwater Management criteria is addressed, and write a report to respond to the Planning Scheme requirements. If the Council also requires an ESD report we can either incorporate the WSUD and Stormwater design response into the ESD Report, or issue the WSUD Response as a standalone report.