Water

What can we do about urban stormwater pollution?


The most effective way to reduce stormwater pollution is to stop it entering the system in the first place. If you look after your local drains, you can dramatically improve what happens in our creeks, rivers and bay. Individuals can help reduce stormwater pollution through the following actions.

Washing your car

Wash your car on a grassed area rather than on the road. That way the detergents and dirt will not run down the road and into a stormwater drain.

Fixing your car

If you are fixing your car at home do not tip engine oil into stormwater drains. Check with your local council regarding chemical collection services. Also make sure your car is regularly maintained so it does not leak oil or petrol.

Composting

An alternative to allowing leaves or garden clippings to accumulate in gutters or driveways is to sweep them up and start a compost heap or use them in your garden as mulch. This way you will prevent them entering the street drain where they can cause pollution.

Put litter in a bin

Make sure all your litter ends up in a bin. Litter dropped in our streets ends up in our street drains and is transported to our waterways following rain.

Paintbrush cleaning

Rinse paintbrushes in the laundry trough or garden rather than letting the contaminated water flow into the street stormwater drain. Tip or wipe excess paint on brushes onto newspaper or a rag. Allow to dry and then place this waste in a bin.

Cleaning the footpath

Always sweep rather than hose your footpath and place waste in the bin. Hosing with water carries dirt, soil or other waste into the street drains.

Pick up dog droppings

Always clean up after your animals. Dog dropping left in our streets ends up in our street drains and is transported to our waterways following rain.

Avoid using weed-killers close to rain period or in wind

Weed-killers can be highly toxic both to animal and plantlife. They take a long time to break down, so can work there way up through the aquatic food chain.

Landscape using native plants

Native plants are more suited to Australian conditions and require less water and fertilisers.

For more information on preventing stormwater pollution, please refer to EPA's reducing stormwater pollution kit.

Page last updated on 3 Dec 2012