MUSIC Guideline

MUSIC Guideline

Special Note regarding the 2018 Draft:

  • We note that while there is scope to improve the 2018 draft version, due to financial limitations we are unable to progress the MUSIC guideline as fast as we would like.
  • The 2018 draft however constitutes and advancement of the science and practice and is an improvement on the 2010 version.
  • We are working with the National WSUD Hub to discuss the prospect of national MUSIC guidelines, this may take some time.
  • We recommend that the 2018 draft is adopted by LGAs for the time being.


Water by Design released the most recent version of the MUSIC guideline (v3) in 2018. The guideline incorporates advice regarding the latest advancements in MUSIC Version 6 (for example secondary drainage links). It also includes advice regarding the modelling of passive irrigation systems – a low cost / high benefit alternative that may be an option in some situations. The other change worth noting is an increase in the k value range for constructed wetlands. This allows for the increase in treatment performance achieved via warmer conditions experienced in Queensland when compared to the original data from Southern Australia. (refer DesignFlow research)  We gratefully acknowledge partial sponsorship of this update by the Whitsunday Shire Council. We see this guideline as an interim guideline until such time as MUSIC X is released (in a couple of years time). The document is provided via the link below.

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We note there has been a literature review that questions the validity of certain aspects of MUSIC including the pollutant concentration parameters and flow reduction within the bioretention node. We have sought and received a number of independent comments and the topic was tabled at the recent MUSIC roundtable workshop with a diverse range of industry experts (refer Minutes). We  also note that an additional review has been undertaken recently by the CRC for WSC (refer Link). While we are reassured that the current approach in the guideline is valid, we see merit in exploring this further.  We would promote further investment in field research and monitoring to clarify these issues if there was appetite.

Many thanks to all who participated in the event and have provided comment:  Ashis Dey & Mircea Stancu (eWater), Shaun Leinster (DesignFlow), Sally Boer (E2DesignLab), Tony Weber (Alluvium), Luke McPhail (Water Tech), Jack Mullaly (Ideanthro), Darren Drapper (DEC), Brad Dalrymple and Michael Weeks (Stormwater 360), Leon Rowlands (Switchback 48), Alan Hoban (Bligh Tanner), Cherie O’Sullivan (Noosa Shire Council), Luke Galea & Stefanie Wabnik (Mackay Regional Council), Niloo Tara (Brisbane City Council), Courtney Henderson (AECOM), Sina Moshirvaziri (SPEL), Katie Fletcher (Arup), Adam Berry (Synergy), Karen Toms, Glenn Browning,  Adrian Crocetti, Andrew O’Neill & Scott Browning (HLW).

Many thanks to all who have provided feedback. Please note the consultation period has now closed.

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