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City West Water

Environmental management system

Objective: Protect the environment and minimise the impact of our services on the environment.

Why an Environmental Management System is important

Our Environmental Management System (EMS) helps us reduce negative impacts on the environment and improve environmental performance. The system provides a methodical approach to planning, implementing and reviewing our environmental management. Our EMS is based on a Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle, outlined in the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14001 framework.

Environmental Management System
Strategic Plan
Consultation Reporting
  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Strategic Goals
Who is
Board and
  • Responsibilities
  • Objects
Who is
Board and
  • Programs
  • Targets
Who is
Whole of Business
  • Consultation
  • Reporting
Who is
Environmental Team
  • External
  • Internal
Who is
External and
Internal Auditors

How our Environmental Management System is implemented

Our EMS (certified to the ISO 14001 Standard) provides the framework by which we manage our environmental risks and regulatory obligations from our day to day operations. Risks associated with our business activities and their interactions with the environment are detailed in our environmental aspects and impacts register. Controls for each activity are identified to ensure risks are managed to an acceptable level. Our EMS is audited annually and assessed for certification every three years.

The scope of our Certified Environmental Management System covers the following activities:

  • Treatment of wastewater at our Altona Treatment Plant (Including operations at Altona Salt Reduction Plant)
  • Trade waste Operations
  • Depot Operations at Brooklyn and West Melbourne
  • Maintenance of our owned and operated assets (Linear)
  • Water and Sewer Operations
  • Stormwater Harvesting Sites
  • Land Management Activities

At present, West Wyndham Dual Supply Scheme operational activities (Including Aquifer Storage and Recovery) is not covered in certified Environmental Management Systems as plant is not fully operational yet. Once the plant and associated infrastructure are fully operational, the activities will be brought into EMS certification.

The EMS ensures specific project’s potential environmental impacts are managed across the project’s life cycle, using the following processes:

  • Environmental Assessments (EA’s) - For significant asset construction projects we undertake EA’s for Planning and Construction phases of projects. The EA process acts as a trigger to evaluate the project’s impact on the local environment and identify controls to minimise the impact of works.
  • Environment Management Plans (EMP’s) - These are developed by contractors performing works on our behalf. EMP’s are submitted to us and reviewed to ensure that adequate controls are in place to address the environmental impacts identified in EA’s.
  • Field Audits - Field audits are conducted by trained staff. Audit recommendations and opportunities for improvements are implemented by the relevant project manager.
  • Environmental Aspects and Impacts Register - This captures the environmental risks and legal requirements associated with City West Waters activities, to ensure appropriate control measures are in place to manage these. High priority risks are listed as follows:
Activity and interaction  Potential impact 

Ballan Rd offset management plan.

To meet permit requirements for clearing native vegetation for the Ballan Rd tanks (West Wyndham Recycled Water Project), City West Water is using land next to the tanks to provide an ‘offset’ for the site.

 Breach of government-approved Offset Management Plan.

Introduction of weeds.

Dry weather sewage spill from insufficient hydraulic capacity, blockage or collapse.

 Oxygen can be depleted from the waterway, harming plants and animals.

Pathogens can prevent recreational water use.

Odour can be offensive to nearby residents.

Asset construction site clearing and excavation – ground disturbance.

Harming plants and animals e.g. trees removed.

Aboriginal cultural heritage disturbance.

Introduction of weeds.

Asset construction site clearing and excavation – sediment to waterways. Fine sediment coats plants, clogs fish gills, and blocks light from getting through the water column to where things live.
 Disposal of asbestos cement pipe.

 Correct waste disposal for prescribed industrial waste (handling, storage, transport, received at licensed facility).

Air emissions.

 Construction waste. Recycling where possible

Bulk Storage of chemicals - potential spill or leak.

Spill, burst, leak, deterioration of sewerage infrastructure containing trade waste

Correct waste disposal.

Pollution of waterways.

Soil contamination.

Receipt of trade waste.

Most of the sewage collected by City West Water's sewerage infrastructure goes to Melbourne Water’s Western Treatment Plant. We must help Melbourne Water meet their Environmental Protection Authority licence conditions for discharge to Port Phillip Bay.

Pollution of waterways.
Process failure at Altona Treatment Plant.

Pollution of Port Phillip Bay.

A copy of our Environmental Aspects and Impacts Register can be shared with relevant interested parties upon request.

How we ensure consistent standards across all our operations

All our principal maintenance contractors have an ISO 14001 certified EMS. This provides confidence that their operations are managed to minimise the impact of works on the environment.

How our environmental planning is managed

Responsibility for delivering on environmental actions for our priority environmental areas is monitored through our Environmental Management System. Overall direction for environmental management is outlined in our Environmental Policy which is reviewed regularly by our board. The Executive Management Committee annually reviews our environmental performance

We previously had a Sustainability Policy in addition to our Environmental Policy. However, we have since merged these two Policies. Any reference to a Sustainability Policy should now refer to our Environmental Policy.

Our Environmental Management System Actions and Programs

We are implementing a range of programs and initiatives to improve the performance of our EMS, including:
  • Specific employee environmental training needs identified
  • Environmental Training Delivered
  • All Position Descriptions and Performance Plans have relevant environmental aspects detailed
  • EMS better integrated with Quality, health and safety systems
  • Development of departmental self-monitoring compliance checks
  • Surveillance and Field Audits
  • Environmental Procedure and compliance audits
  • Environmental Aspects and Impacts Register Reviewed
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