Protecting our waterways

Manningham is widely recognised as an innovator and leader in local water management. The challenges posed by climate change require a collaborative and integrated approach by Council and the community to develop long-term sustainable solutions to managing water supply and protecting our waterways.

In partnership with lead water agencies, Council is committed to the:

  • Sewer Backlog Program rollout
  • Doncaster Hill Smarter Water Planning
  • Living Rivers Stormwater Program


Grey Water

Greywater (all non-toilet household wastewater) can be a good water resource during times of drought and water restrictions, but its reuse can have health and environmental risks.

Greywater is domestic wastewater from the laundry, kitchen and bathroom. Toilet wastewater is known as blackwater and is not suitable for domestic treatment. Greywater with low levels of contamination can be used on your garden. Rinse water from your washing machine is the most suitable greywater to divert to your garden provided you use low phosphorus detergents.


Permits and safe use of greywater

You will need a septic tank permit to install a permanent system to collect, treat and reuse greywater. The system must be EPA approved.

No permit is needed for a simple, temporary diversion system. A permanent diversion system (that doesn’t store water for more than 24 hours) needs to be installed by a licensed plumber.

To apply for a septic tank permit, return the completed application form along with detailed plans and the appropriate fee to:

Approvals and Compliance Unit
Manningham Council
PO Box 1, Doncaster
Victoria 3108

Install or alter a septic tank system application form
Install or alter a septic tank system application form
315.93 KB

For more information, please refer to the EPA's septic tanks code of practice for design options for the installation of septic systems . A permit must be granted prior to any works commencing by a registered contractor or plumber.

For more information about using greywater and some simple health rules to follow, please see the Related downloads.


Rainwater tanks

Installing a tank to capture rainwater from your roof is a great way to supply water for uses including flushing toilets and watering your garden. Rainwater tanks can also help you save money on your water bill.

For more information view  or find out about the Building Permit requirements.



Through bushland weed control and planting regimes, we keep waterways intact by promoting riparian vegetation to secure riverbanks keeping the shape and flow of rivers intact while stopping erosion. This program includes conserving natural habitat for local wildlife and increasing native vegetation along and in creeks and rivers

Weed control consists of multiple methods, taking into consideration what the weed is, the area it's situated, what other weeds or indigenous species are around it, and habitat requirements. The weeding is conducted by our Bushland Management Team to minimise damage and maximise positive environmental impact in removing pest plants from riverbanks.

Through various Landcare groups and events, Manningham Council, Melbourne Water, and community volunteers help revegetate local waterways with indigenous species and increase conservation action. If you are interested in joining one of these groups, please consider our Citizen Science Programs.



All new homes are now required to achieve a house energy rating of five stars for building fabric and have either a solar hot water system or a rainwater tank. For this purpose, rainwater tanks must have minimum capacity of 2000 litres.


Water saving showerheads

On average, 30% of all household water usage is in the shower. Installing a water efficient showerhead can save around 11,000 litres of water per household each year and reduce the energy required to heat the water - reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Bring in your latest Yarra Valley Water bill and old showerhead to our customer service and pick up a free water efficient showerhead.


Waterwatch program

Waterwatch is a citizen science program for monitoring waterway health.

Waterwatch volunteers get involved in exploring and protecting their local waterways by collecting water quality data that contributes to scientific research, management planning and on ground actions that improve the health of our waterways. 

Manningham volunteers have been collecting and undertaking surveys and observations for over 10 years. The information collected has been helping improve local waterway health.

Waterwatch is a citizen science program for monitoring waterway health. In Manningham, Waterwatch has been connecting local communities with waterway health and sustainable water issues since 1993.

In 2007 a group of concerned volunteers initiated the Manningham Waterwatch Monitoring Network. This group continues to monitor the health of our local waterways and has carried out over 10,000 water quality measurements at more than 40 sites across the municipality. The data collected is used to assess the health of Manningham's waterways and identify what is currently impacting stream ecology.

In addition to water quality monitoring, many volunteers are affiliated with local action groups including Landcare and ‘friends of’ groups which undertake stream rehabilitation programs that contribute to catchment and waterway health.


Volunteer to be a citizen scientist

Citizen scientists are people who want to make a difference to the environment and their community. You can join this movement by taking part in programs like Waterwatch, you can email to let us know you're interested at

  • 2020 Waterwatch Health Report
    2020 Waterwatch Health Report
    7.14 MB

On this page

    Related downloads

    Install or alter a septic tank system application form
    Install or alter a septic tank system application form
    315.93 KB
    A Guide to Septic Systems and Operation Maintenance
    A Guide to Septic Systems and Operation Maintenance
    2.43 MB
    Greywater Fact Sheet
    Greywater Fact Sheet
    581.78 KB

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