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Council promote the sustainable use of water. Generally water use is controlled by GWM Water who offers rebates for people to make purchases which reduce their water use. This page contains useful information to help our communities use our precious water resources sustainably.
The GWM Water website has information on rebates for actions such as installing rainwater tanks and dual flush toilets. Timing showers, installing low flow shower heads, operating dishwashers and washing machines with full loads, repairing dripping taps are some of practical ways householders can reduce their water use.
The majority of homes will be in sewered areas, where wastewater is controlled by GWM Water. In these areas if you wish to re-use your grey water, typically from the bathroom but excluding the toilet, you will need to read the requirements for Greywater use around the home in the EPA publication link as there are serious health implications for its misuse.
There are systems available which enable wastewater – black and/or grey water - to be re-used on your garden in unsewered areas. Council are required to enforce the Environment Protection Act Code of Practice as they relate to Onsite Wastewater Management so it is wise to see if your system of wastewater re-use conforms with regulations.
If you are looking to re-use greywater keep in mind that the use of low phosphate detergents will have better outcomes for your garden. Choice magazine had a particularly good article on this topic.
Selection of appropriate garden species and careful garden preparation and mulch, mulch, mulch can assist with minimisation of water use in the garden. Using plant species adapted to our local conditions makes sense and we have examples in the bush around us of the wonderful array of indigenous plants we could grow. Council has a list of indigenous plants available and GWM Water has a free series of Fact Sheets “Gardening in the GWM Water Region with Ted Brown”. See the link to Council’s article on garden water use.
Dams and groundwater use are controlled by GWM Water in the Wimmera catchment and Southern Rural Water in the Hopkins catchment. It should be noted that Wimmera and Glenelg-Hopkins Catchment Management Authorities have further controls as they relate to the waterways. These arrangements are currently being reviewed.
Council has developed a network of stock and domestic water supplies and standby pipes to assist farmers and rural residents. Council also uses recycled water on many of its gardens, has installed a dam to supplement water for road making and is implementing its Stormwater Management Plan.