Manly Council/EPA education program - water you do'in?
Grant number: 3068
Grant funding: $150,000
Local government area/s: Manly Council
Location/s: Balgowlah Industrial Estate, Manly Council Depot
Project partners: Manly Council and University of Western Sydney
In a controlled catchment, specific pollutants coming from an area can be quantified and possible contributors to the problem identified. Using this information, businesses can be targeted and qualitative research can help tailor environmental education programs.
Balgowlah Industrial Estate and Manly Council Depot were two sites that were appropriate for this approach. The work practices and training experiences of the personnel meant they were sympathetic to a participatory approach to program development and implementation.
Involvement in this program enabled local companies and the council to take a fresh look at their management practices and identify where improvements could be made to prevent stormwater pollution at source. It also meant businesses could become familiar with recently introduced environmental legislation, and ensure they were acting completely within the law.
The project sought to:
- identify stormwater pollution prevention behaviours and implement achievable policies, procedures and programs
- educate, inform and bring about change in the knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and practices of local businesses and council staff
- utilise water quality monitoring, assessment and evaluation to advise and assess management options
- address continuing stormwater pollution preventative activities in response to the findings of the monitoring, assessment and evaluation (see objective 3).
This pilot program was dynamic and sustainable in its approach to stormwater pollution prevention. The program integrated environmental education, monitoring, legislation and infrastructure provision to deal with environmental concerns.
Medium and high-risk businesses were identified through data from detailed water quality monitoring carried out by the University of Western Sydney. Each company was provided with a tailored pollution prevention plan addressing issues specific to that company and its premises. In consultation with key staff:
- the issues were identified and prioritised
- solutions were developed
- responsibilities and timeframes for effective implementation were negotiated.
The plan was fully supported by a pollution prevention support line and environmental resource kit, and follow-up visits were included in the negotiated timeframes.
Environmental legislation was considered at all times, the education campaign supporting companies in complying with the legislation. The council's environmental health and compliance team also audited companies.
Methodology and tools
A pre-evaluation survey was carried out to gain an insight into the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of people before the program began. Recipients could raise any issues and have input into the approach of the education program. The results of the survey, combined with the expertise of the project working group, guided the program's direction.
All medium- to high-risk companies were targeted with an education program to develop the pollution prevention skills, behaviours, attitudes and knowledge of management and key staff.
The program was participatory, including one-to-one contact. This built trust between the business and the council, broke down barriers and allowed effective support mechanisms to be administered. Because of the participation of key people and management, an effective stormwater pollution prevention plan was developed and facilitated.
The following were developed or organised:
- workplace signage
- the Great Estate website
- the Great Estate newsletter
- an environmental resource kit
- a pollution prevention support line
- the Great Estate information brochure
- the Great Estate Environmental Exposition 2001
- the Environmental Accreditation and Drain Adoption Scheme
- individual awareness raising, training and planning workshops for business.
The success of the program was demonstrated by the enthusiastic response from local businesses.
- Behavioural change
- Developing best management practices
- Effective pollution prevention management planning
- Implementation of management strategies
- Appropriate reporting of pollution incidents
- Information sharing
- Cleaner runoff
- Improved awareness, knowledge and attitudes
- Improved water quality.
Use pre-existing networks such as service providers, industry associations, chambers of commerce, community forums and Rotary.
Participatory programs and one-to-one contact promote the building of trust between businesses and councils.
Project resources and further information
Contact Manly Council on (02) 9976 1500.
Contact the University of Western Sydney on (02) 9852 5222.
Stage 3 grant details
Page last updated: 26 February 2011