Officers from Council’s Governance & Infrastructure Division have met with representatives of the Sands Owners Corporation three times since January 2018 with the primary aim of improving the quality of stormwater from upstream developments flowing into the Sands Amenity Lakes.

As a result from these meetings Council has:

  • Audited the compliance of subdivision works within the developments to approved Construction Management Plans resulting in direction to comply to developers where non-conformances have been identified. Ongoing auditing is also underway.
  • Sought advice on the original Torquay North Stormwater Management Plan and been informed that the development plan does not require review as development is in line with the original assumptions made in the plan.
  • Assessed Permit Conditions in Stretton Development ensuring construction of outstanding sedimentation ponds / wetlands as part of the next stage of development.
  • Confirmed the originally endorsed Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) for The Sands is the current valid plan.

The focus to date has been on the above areas where Council has a high level of control and it is felt that some good progress has been made so far.

At the August meet it was identified that a key driver of the silt causing pollution within the amenity lakes is not coming from the construction of the large developments upstream but from the construction of individual houses within the new developments. This is an area which Council has less direct control over than the large scale developments. With this in mind Council included a representative from the EPA at this meeting so that they can better understand the issues arising from building sites  and will be working with him to educate, and where necessary enforce, domestic builders on their obligations on building sites.

From the August meeting there were a number of identified actions moving forward including:

  • Looking at option of increased street sweeper in areas of high building development;
  • Investigating the functionality of the Zeally Sands spillway and overflow;
  • Improved water filtering from developments;
  • Water diversion options to redirect water upstream from the Sands; and
  • Education of domestic builders (as mentioned above)

Council will continue to meet regularly with representatives of The Sands Owners Corporation with a shared goal of improving the water quality flowing into and through the amenity lakes.

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