Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
The local council is the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
Merricks Beach is part of the Red Hill Ward.
Our local Councillor, first elected in 2016, is David Gill. His report on his activities in 2017 can be accessed below.
Private Water Networks
A number of property owners have invested in private water lines coming off the main system in Palmers Hill Rd. There are typically multiple properties operating from these private water networks. The pipelines are the responsibily of the current owners of the relevant properties and they are responsible for service and maintenance of these pipelines.
If you are a new resident or a current resident seeking to change your access to water, this information is provided to give you the alternatives that are available in Merricks Beach.
Merricks Beach values its green and natural environment and in 1993, a formal vote of all residents opposed the introduction of further infrastructure (including mains water) for all properties within the village.
Concerns related to waste water, drainage, commercialization and overdevelopment. One of the specific concerns was that mains water would require the roads to be sealed with bitumen. At the time the Council introduced an Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO27). Since then, many residents have found tanks more than adequate for their needs in most years. Subsequently, land releases along Palmers Hill Rd and on the former Ross Estate at the back of Palmers Hill Rd have had mains water installed to SE Water specifications which were funded by the developers. The pipelines were then handed over to SE Water to manage. These properties were outside the boundaries of ESO27. Since that time, about 35-40 owners in the area covered by ES027 have commissioned private lines linked to the main lines in these developments. This has been greatly assisted by the use of underground drilling as the standard means of installing water pipes, as has been used for installation of gas and sewerage in recent years. This technology has far less impact on the local environment. These installations have required Council approval which is a straight forward process.
Private lines are commissioned and paid for by the residents who gain access to water through this means. These residents also pay normal water rates and usage as well as sewerage charges. They are responsible for the maintenance and repair of these private lines when problems occur.
It is worth noting that if you wish to install a private line, and if the line is built to the specifications set by SE Water, then SE Water can be approached to take over the management of the line including future repairs and maintenance. Most of the current private lines are not built to these specifications and therefore will not be taken over by SE Water.
It is also worth noting that if the lines are built to the standard specifications, then fire hydrants can also be included on the line. There are no fire hydrants in areas serviced by tanks or current private lines though there are fire plugs in some places.
If you wish to understand more about tanks versus private lines, the MBRA committee can link you to another resident who has considered these issues and who can give some advice about ball park costs and the process involved.