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Water Sensitive Design

We are committed to reducing the impact of stormwater on the health of our waterways by using Water Sensitive Design (WSD).  Water Sensitive Design is an approach to development and re-development that integrates the whole water cycle into the design (stormwater, groundwater, waste water and supply). This approach improves water quality and manages the volume of water leaving a development, reduces our overall demand on water sources and minimises the pollution entering our waterways.

Check lists, fact sheets, example plans, deemed to comply tables and other tools have been developed to assist with meeting the requirements of the Water Sensitive Design chapter of the Great Lakes Development Control plan (Chapter 11).

Water Sensitive Design requirements can be confusing at first. To help you understand WSD and how it is covered in Chapter 11 of the Great Lakes Development Control Plan (DCP), we've produced a Frequently Asked Questions document that you can view or download below.

Check lists - to be submitted with your development application:

General WSD Fact Sheets:

Types of Raingardens

Raingardens can be constructed on both clay and sandy soils and are the most effective treatment available to meet the water quality targets in the Water Sensitive Design Chapter of the DCP. There are slight differences in the design of raingardens for sandy soils and clay soils.

Sandy Soils - Infiltrating Raingarden

A raingarden that is built on sandy soils is called an 'Infiltrating Raingarden. This type of raingarden infiltrates into the sandy sub soil and can be built by lining the sides of the raingarden with impermeable plastic and replacing in situ sands with 400mm of filter media. Example site plans and cross sections for an infiltrating raingarden can be downloaded below.

Clay Soils - Raingarden

A raingarden constructed in clay soils contains underdrains that collect and deliver the treated water into the main stormwater system. Example site plans and cross sections for a raingarden can be downloaded below.

Sizing your raingarden

The size of the raingarden is determined based on the lot size, roof and driveway areas which drain to the raingarden, and the size of the water tank.

There are two ways to work out what size raingarden you need.

1. Deemed to Comply Table

Council has developed Deemed to Comply sizing tables to help size your raingarden. This is a simplified sizing methodology that can be used for both clay and sandy soils, provided the criteria can be met. If the criteria for using the table cannot be met, then the Small Scale Stormwater Tool should be used.

Deemed to Comply Sizing raingardens and infiltration raingardens (sewered)(PDF, 24KB)

2. Small Scale Stormwater Tool

The Small Scale Stormwater Tool (S3QM - www.s3qm.com.au) can be used to gain a more precise raingarden size, and also when the criteria for the Deemed to Comply Table cannot be met. A basic guide on how to use the tool can be downloaded below.

Properties with Site Constraints or non-standard options:

If you have site constraints on your block, or want to do something different to the standard options provided in the deemed to comply tables, you will need to use the Small Scale Stormwater Quality Model (S3QM) to identify the treatments that will meet the Water Quality Targets. The model can be accessed online at www.S3QM.com.au

Water Sensitive Design for Single Dwellings on Un-serviced Sites

Council have developed a guide on Water Sensitive Design for single dwellings that do not have access to town water and are fully reliant on rainwater. 

These types of development may be able to meet the water quality targets in Chapter 11 of the DCP if 100% of the roof area drains directly to the rainwater tank which supplies all indoor uses.

The fact sheet below can assist with working out how to meet the Water Sensitive Design requirements.


Driveway Construction

If you want to build a driveway or alter your existing driveway within the public road reserve, you are must lodge either a Driveway Application (Urban) or a Driveway Application (Rural) , depending on your property zoning. Please read the application form thoroughly to ensure that you lodge the required payment and documentation with your application so that it can be processed by Council in a timely manner. 

Driveway Construction Approval Process

Once you have lodged your application with the required payment and documentation, the process is as follows.

  • Council will issue an approval letter along with the applicable Council Standard Drawing to the applicant. (Please note that construction works must not commence until an approval letter along with the applicable Council Standard Drawing has been issued and public liability of the contractor received by Council).
  • Upon completion of the driveway construction, a final inspection must be arranged with Council with a view to issuing a Certificate of Compliance on the driveway construction.  Note: This Certificate is required to be obtained and provided to the development's Certifying Authority in order for your Occupation Certificate to be issued.

Note:  If inspections are required in addition to the Final inspection, the applicant will incur additional fees as per Council's current Fees & Charges.

If the proposed works are associated with a DA, the works must comply with DA consent conditions and approved plans.

For additional information regarding Council's driveway construction standards please refer to Council's Vehicle Crossings Policy.

Plumbing and Drainage

Great Lakes Council is the regulator of plumbing and drainage in areas of the Great Lakes not serviced by MidCoast Water.  If your property is serviced by a town water supply refer to the MidCoast Water website.

Plumbers and drainers are required to submit the following documents at certain stages of the work.

  • Notice of Work is to be issued to Council no later than 2 business days before the work concerned is carried out.
  • Certificate of Compliance is to be issued to Council and to the person for whom the work was carried out, on completion of the final inspection.
  • Sewer Service Diagram is to be issued to Council and the owner of the land or the owner's agent.
  • NSW Fair Trading Notice of Work and Certificate of Compliance form.(PDF, 477KB)

Inspections are generally required when:

  • The drainage work is finished.
  • Before backfilling or covering the installation.
  • When water supply work is finished, and before cladding walls and or ceilings.
  • When there is a need for re-inspection, or for an inspection of non-compliant work.
  • At the completion of all the work.

The Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) is the new technical standard for all plumbing and drainage work in NSW. All plumbing and drainage work in NSW must comply with the PCA. The new Code replaces the more prescriptive NSW Code of Practice for Plumbing and Drainage and other local requirements. This system means plumbers no longer need to remember a myriad of local variations to plumbing standards. Plumbers will be able to work more easily across different regions, without needing to know local variations.

Section 94 Contributions

Council applies development contributions as conditions of consent where it considers the development is likely to increase demand for local infrastructure such as roads, drainage, recreation and community facilities.

Section 94 Contributions are only applied in accordance with formally exhibited and adopted Section 94 Development Contributions Plans, and the funds collected may only be spent on the facilities described in those Plans.