Everything that goes down the stormwater drain ends up in our lakes and rivers. Poor water quality affects everyone, including our local wildlife. As part of a new education program called H2OK: Keeping our waterways healthy, Canberrans and residents in the surrounding regions are being called on to take action and help stop rubbish and other pollutants going down the stormwater drain. Here are a few ways residents can help be the solution for water pollution in the urban residential areas of the capital region:
- Don’t be a tosser; always put litter in the right bin. Stop rubbish going down the stormwater drain and into our waterways.
- Keep soil and gravels on your site. Even gravel gets washed away in a heavy downpour.
- Rake up leaves and grass. Turn them into mulch or compost, take them to a green waste recycling facility or, if you have one, put them in your green waste bin. Leaves and grass that go down the stormwater drain decompose and release excessive nutrients into the water that may cause blue green algal blooms.
- Pick up after your pet. Bag up the poo and put it in the bin.
- Butt out responsibly. Cigarette butts left on the pavement or flicked into the street end up in our waterways. Butts are toxic to fish and wildlife.
- Wash your car on a grassy area or at a commercial car wash, not on your driveway or footpath.
- Dispose of paints and chemicals at recycling centres not down the drain. They are toxic to our waterways and local wildlife.
- Work with your neighbours to defend the stormwater drains in your street. Share ideas about how we can all prevent stormwater pollution.