Water Sensitive Urban Design

Buffer strips are vegetated areas (typically grass or reeds/sedges) through which stormwater can evenly flow.


They take water from impervious surfaces in an evenly distributed manner (i.e not a single stream, which could cause erosion) and filter sediments and coarse pollutants contained from the runoff.

The low hydraulic loading over the vegetation allows flows to filter through the vegetation and pollutants to settle out. They also provide a detention role to slow flows down, as well as a free source of ‘passive irrigation’.

They can also be used to filter runoff from other areas, but require flows to be distributed at the entry.
Maintenance is required on buffer strips to ensure that vegetation is healthy and has good coverage over the site.

Note that because of Moonee Valley’s highly reactive clay soils, all buffer strips need to be fully lined with an impervious liner and have their aggie drain (agricultural pipe) connected to the stormwater system/Legal Point of Discharge.

Your WSUD application tools

  • If you are considering installing a buffer strip as part of your Planning Application, a cross section of a generic buffer strip is available here as a guide.
  • Make sure your Site Layout Plan, Ground Floor Plan, and Roof Plan reflect the information contained in the WSUD Report (i.e. the STORM or MUSIC report).
  • As a condition of your planning permit you will need to complete and submit a WSUD Site Management Plan. A WSUD SMP guide is available here: Keeping Our Stormwater Clean: A Builder’s Guide by Melbourne Water and the EPA Victoria.
  • View these fact sheets guiding applicants through Moonee Valley's Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP).
Last updated: Monday, 8 August 2016, 4:03 AM