Bay Friendly Businesses
In 2016, Frankston City Council and the Environmental Protection Authority conducted research to discover the kinds of pollutants entering Port Phillip Bay through Frankston’s city centre drainage systems.
Research found litter, chemicals, nutrients, faecal matter and wastewater were being disposed of directly into stormwater drains, entering Port Phillip Bay and contributing to poor water quality and beach closures.
There are two pollution hotspots within the Frankston central business district (CBD): one located near the Wells Street Drain Outlet and the other, a pit lid, adjacent to the Frankston cinema and shopping centre. These drains regularly contribute to pollution in the bay. Specifically, scientific analysis found that:
• Defining the pollution was difficult due to the number of pit lids to access.
• Some chemical samples indicated poor waste disposal practices with the use of a disinfectant.
• The collected samples showed the pollution is predominantly human in origin, indicating a regular and ongoing source from within this small CBD catchment – most likely a single source or multiple sources near the Frankston cinema shopping centre.
It was discovered that some of the damaging litter and waste contamination was coming from Frankston city centre businesses using illegal disposal practices. This was confirmed during Council’s annual environmental health inspections.
Because of this discovery, Frankston City Council launched the Bay Friendly Businesses Project as a way of educating city centre business operators and their staff in ways to reduce stormwater pollution entering Port Phillip Bay.
The project incorporates face-to-face meetings, water quality testing, data analysis, education sessions, and reference material, and encourages businesses to voluntarily pledge to improve their methods of wastewater disposal.
Businesses that improve their waste management may have the opportunity to be promoted as a Bay Friendly Business to acknowledge their participation and work well done.
Bay Friendly Businesses is in its infancy. Now there are 270 businesses in Frankston identified as being eligible to participate in the project.