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Environment

The principles of sustainability are incorporated throughout everything that Western Water does.

We believe that all people, as individuals and communities, play a part in protecting and preserving our finite water resources.

Through the implementation of our Environmental Management System, Western Water constantly reviews the aspect and impacts of its activities and implements measures to achieve better environmental outcomes.

Environment Policy

The purpose of our Environment Policy is to set out Western Water's environmental purpose and values in line with the requirements of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14001, National and State developments.

Policy

Western Water’s vision is “To be recognised as a successful water business that is valued by our community".

Western Water, as the provider of water supply, domestic wastewater, trade waste and recycled water services, has a fundamental role in environmental health.  The development of our Integrated Water Management Strategy represents a new phase in our business and will ultimately set out a programme of opportunities allowing us to play a greater role in the enhancement of our communities.

 At the core of our Integrated Water Management Strategy is the delivery of the following key outcomes:

  • optimised use of local water supplies;
  • maximisation of the beneficial reuse of recycled water;
  • improved waterway health;
  • increased economic prosperity; and
  • enhanced liveability.

These outcomes will be delivered whilst maintaining a focus on affordability and public health, and through ongoing conversations with our customers and the community.

Implementation

Western Water aims to ensure that throughout all phases of its activities, its employees, contractors, suppliers and trade waste customers give proper consideration to the protection of the flora, fauna, air, land and water, the community health and the cultural heritage which may be affected by the activities directly associated with Western Water.  To achieve this Western Water will interact with the community, deliver sustainable services and empower our people.

Interact with the community

  • engage with the community and customers on matters of environmental interest and concerns regarding water resources, catchment management and biodiversity.
  • lead, inform and partner with customers on the importance of environmental management including the promotion of cleaner production, waste minimisation and water conservation throughout the community.
  • actively participate in regional planning, and pursue outcomes that will ensure water and wastewater issues are always considered and are consistent with Western Water’s Integrated Water Management Strategy.

Deliver sustainable services

  • meet, and where feasible exceed all applicable State and Federal environmental laws and regulatory requirements and any other environment related requirements to which Western Water subscribes.
  • through a documented Environmental Management System (EMS) develop objectives and targets to monitor environmental performance.
  • implement and maintain a Trade Waste Management System to ensure that agreed discharge limits are bacteriologically, radioactively, biologically and chemically acceptable to public health, sewerage infrastructure, treatment processes and the environment.
  • maintain and operate our supply system to ensure adherence to sound environmental practices.
  • conduct environmental assessments for major projects and consult with the community and other stakeholders.
  • actively identify and manage environmental risks and adverse impacts.
  • respond immediately to determine appropriate mitigation of environmental incidents.
  • develop strategies through environmental management programs for prevention of pollution from major activities and drive continuous improvement.
  • conserve important population of flora and fauna that may be affected by our activities.
  • rehabilitate the environment affected by our activities.

Empower our people

  • communicate through training and periodic communiqué to staff and contractors their responsibility for environmental management and Western Water’s commitment to sound environmental practices.
  • encourage and equip our staff and contractors to identify and take action to minimise any adverse impact to the environment.
  • maintain an Environment Committee to develop and monitor implementation of sustainable measures across the business.
  • encourage staff participation in community environmental projects.

The ultimate aim is to progress towards sustainable development and to effectively integrate Environmental, Quality and Safety management systems.

The implementation of this policy will be developed by management and used as a platform to maintain our Environmental Management System in line with the ISO 14001 model.

EPA Corporate Licence

Western Water’s EPA Corporate Licence covers the legally enforceable environmental performance conditions with which business activities must comply.

This is to provide the community with certainty that potentially harmful industrial and commercial activities are managed effectively and that the environment is protected.

Since 2008, we have operated all seven of our recycled water plants under the single EPA Corporate Licence.

In order to demonstrate compliance with the licence, Western Water undertakes extensive environmental monitoring and provides an Annual Performance Statement (APS) to the EPA.  The APS is a public document and is published on the EPA website.

Biodiversity

Pinkerton Forest

A number of Western Water properties have significant biodiversity attributes. In addition, the number of properties set aside as vegetation offsets for major projects is increasing and there is an obligation to protect them under planning permits and 173 agreements.

Western Water undertakes its biodiversity enhancement work through partnerships with local environmental stakeholders including Pinkerton Landcare and Environment Group, Deep Creek Landcare, Salesian College and Melbourne Water.

Western Water supports the protection of environmental health of our urban waterways. We work closely with Melbourne Water, the Environment Protection Authority, local government and environment groups to improve our waterways and find appropriate uses for recycled water in our region.

 

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