Video: grass cutting

Grass cutting plays a vital role in maintaining waterways and drains and preventing fires. Find out all the things that factor into our planning, and rest assured that we’re on the case.

Audio described version

At Melbourne Water, the maintenance of grass plays an important role in managing drains and the supply of drinking water, waterways – and of course, fire prevention. 

[On-screen visual: map of Greater Melbourne area]

Here are some of the areas across Greater Melbourne we need to manage each year. This includes thousands of hectares of grass as well as roads and firebreaks in our precious catchments.

Maintaining all that grass requires a lot of hard work from a big team, significant planning, and a little bit of luck with the weather. The catch is – mowing this much land is costly, and since all of us living in Melbourne have to share this cost, we strive make it as efficient and predictable as possible.

For example, our tractors move from one property to another in pre-determined routes, as a more ad-hoc approach would lead to cost blow-outs and issues like grass not getting cut in time for the fire season.

We mentioned the weather before, and that usually comes down to how many Melbourne days feature more than one season. A drier than average year increases the risk of bushfires, meaning we have to start grass cutting earlier in some locations. A wetter-than-average year will make grass grow faster and longer than usual, taking more time to cut. 

On top of that, wet weather can restrict access to some sites and machinery can’t operate as safely.

All this can create a bit of a grass-ball effect, and since our schedules and budgets are designed for the average year, we may end up living with a little bit more green than we bargained for. But don’t worry – we’re on the case!

Finally, here is something you can help us with: rubbish and debris can become dangerous projectiles when coming in contact with our fast-spinning equipment. We do our best to prevent it, but the only way to eliminate the problem is to keep green spaces tidy and free of rubbish and builders’ waste.

So, now that you know how it works and how much of the green stuff we look after here at Melbourne Water, make sure to give us a wave next time you see us around.

[Melbourne Water logo: enhancing life and liveability]