Drainage and Stormwater

Drainage and Stormwater

Actions and activities around our homes and public spaces directly affect the health of the waterways.  Hard surfaces like roads and footpaths prevent the natural absorption of rain into the ground and gradual transport into the groundwater or waterways.  Instead, rain that falls on a hard surface is flushed directly into our rivers and creeks through the stormwater system. This occurs through the stormwater pits and drains from our streets and flows into the outlets in the Ovens River and creeks throughout the municipality.  Cleared farmland also produce increased runoff to the waterways.

Straight from street to stream – untreated!

Unlike the sewage water which travels from your bathroom, kitchen and laundry to the wastewater treatment plant, no filtering or treatment is carried out for stormwater.  So anything else that was on the street or your property will also end up in the rivers and creeks. Litter, chemicals, sediments and animal waste all create problems for the freshwater ecosystems and us – we drink from the river too!  Even organic matter like leaf litter has a detrimental impact on the health of our waterways – rapid decomposition of this uses up oxygen in the water and creates excess nutrients. This can produce algal blooms. 

Council is responsible for the maintenance of the stormwater infrastructure and actively works to reduce pollution entering our rivers and creeks.  If the whole community is aware and acts responsibly, stormwater contamination can be prevented.

What can I do to keep our Stormwater clean?

  • Put all rubbish in bins, especially cigarette butts.
  • Keep your car well maintained to avoid oil and other fluid leaks.
  • Sweep up leaves and other garden waste and dispose of in the compost or transfer station.  Leaves make a great mulch for the garden.
  • Wash your car on the lawn or at a commercial car wash (even better because they recycle water too!)
  • NEVER wash paint or chemicals into the stormwater drain.
  • Pick up after your dog and dispose of in a bin.
  • Keep loose soil and other materials contained and covered.
  • Be responsible with pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer use on your property – only use the minimum necessary, and not before heavy rain.
  • Protect creek beds on your property – limit stock access and retain native vegetation to minimise erosion.
  • For more information about stormwater go to www.epa.vic.gov.au or click on Melbourne Water.

Last Updated: 30-11-2016

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