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Car driving in heavy rain

Storms and Floods

Stormwater and flood are important elements to our urban life and there are key things everyone should know to reduce pollution in our waterways and help reduce the risk of flooding.

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is rainfall that flows across land. The majority of stormwater flows into our waterways eventually end up into Port Phillip Bay. Stormwater can also soak into the soil and enter the ground water table or sit on the surface and evaporate. Here in Knox City, the majority of our landscape is hard surfaces such as roofs, roads and carparks hence, when it rains here, water moves very quickly to low points, carrying various pollutants with it and in some situations during heavy downpours, flooding can also occur. We need to manage our water wisely to ensure that it is used efficiently and reduce flood impact on life and property.

Why should we care about stormwater?

Stormwater flows into our waterways and on to Port Phillip Bay without being treated, unlike our septic system (toilet, bathroom, kitchen etc.) which is part of our sewerage system and is treated before being released into the Bass Strait. It is important therefore, to make sure that stormwater is as free of rubbish and pollutants as possible.

  • Over 55% of land use in Knox City is residential so when it rains the chances are high that it falls on your roof, goes down your downpipes and into the stormwater system
  • If it lands on your garden or grass it will soak up the soil or flow to the low point of your property, taking things like garden chemicals, debris and dog poo with it and ultimately much of this will go into the stormwater system
  • Pollution can impact our wildlife due to poor water quality in our creeks and rivers. Fast flowing water creates issues with erosion and flooding.

How to improve stormwater quality and reduce flooding

There are a number of steps you can take to help improve the quality of the stormwater from your property and also reduce the chance of flooding.

  • Collect & store runoff from your roof in a rainwater tank to water your garden and to flush the toilet
  • Direct your downpipes and gutters to drain onto lawn, garden beds so that rain soaks into the soil
  • Use mulch, bricks, gravel or other porous surfaces for walkways, patios and driveways so that water can soak into the ground
  • Reduce soil erosion by planting groundcovers and placing mulch on exposed soil under trees or on steep slopes
  • Create a raingarden, swale or terracing to catch, slow, hold and filter stormwater
  • Pick up after your pets and collect rubbish to stop it entering the drains.

What is Council doing to help?

We have an ongoing program to maintain and improve our stormwater system. Council’s stormwater network is a combination of:

  • 1,167 km of pipes
  • 36,181 stormwater pits
  • 4 retarding basins
  • 10 stormwater treatment wetlands
  • 20 raingarden systems
  • Over 100 rainwater tanks
  • 9 stormwater harvesting schemes
  • Overland flow networks
  • 38 sporting reserves
  • 793 hectares of public open space

Climate and Storm Warnings

Satellite radar image of a severe storm over Melbourne.

We encourage residents to be mindful of current warnings regarding possible storm damage for parts of Victoria. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on storm warnings and extreme weather conditions during an emergency.

Storms and other weather warnings are published on the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) web site where you can also see the latest Melbourne Radar image.

During a storm

When a storm warning is broadcast

Storm warnings are advised via ABC radio, news, Internet and the Bureau of Meteorology.
If a storm warning is issued for this area, you should:

  • If installed, check your meter box sticker for advice.
  • Listen to ABC and/or local radio for information and advice.
  • Make contact with neighbours to ensure they are appropriately prepared.
  • Bring children and pets indoors.
  • Stay clear of windows.
  • Move outdoor furniture to a safe location such as the garage.
  • Put your family emergency kit where you can find it easily.
Two cars trapped in flooded water

While the storm is passing through, stay indoors if possible.

What about my car?

  • Park your car undercover and away from trees.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car.

What if I am stuck in my car during a storm?

  • DO NOT drive into water of unknown depth and current - this can be deadly.
  • Slow down and turn headlights on.
  • Be alert and watch for hazards on the road, such as powerlines.
  • Storms claim lives.

If visibility becomes low:

Storm Damage and Flooding

Knox State Emergency Services (SES) - call 132 500

  • Ensure you slow down and put your headlights on.
  • Put on your hazard lights and pull over to the side of the road in a clear safe area.
  • Make sure you are clear of streams, trees and powerlines.
  • DO NOT drive into water of unknown depth and current.

Power and Street Light Failure

To report a power outage or street light fault:
Call Ausnet Services on 131 799, or
Call United Energy on 132 099.

Gas Emergencies

Call Multinet Gas on 132 691 to report gas leaks, faults and emergencies with gas.

Water Faults and Emergencies

Call South East Water on 132 812 to report faults and emergencies with water.

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