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Stormwater pollution

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is the rain water that flows across streets, gardens and roads into stormwater drains and gutters in the street.

Material that enters the stormwater drains does not get treated and flows directly to creeks, lakes, rivers and the sea.

As a rule, only rain water that is clean and free of contaminants can enter the stormwater system.

Some important tips to remember:

  • Leaves, garden clippings and other materials must be swept up and disposed of into a domestic waste bin.
  • Swimming pool water (particularly back wash water) must be directed to sewer.
  • Cars, boats and trailers must be washed on grassed or other areas that allow the washwater to soak into the ground, or be redirected to sewer.
  • Spillsafe Mats are available for hire at the Council for community groups without specific car washing facilities.

Stormwater can be easily polluted by building waste and other debris that is allowed to spill over on the roads.

Under the Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy (2015) it is offence to discharge or dispose of listed pollutants into waterways, including the stormwater system. This includes rubbish, soil, clay and liquid waste. Offences under this policy can attract an expiation fee and a prosecution for repeat offenders.

For information on Environment Protection issues, please contact the EPA.