Living Smart

Water

Protecting our Waterways

What can you do?

All of us have an impact on the health of our waterways and catchments. Listed below are some of the many positive things you can do to help.

Learn about your local environment

  • Where is your nearest river or creek and how healthy is it?
  • Consider joining a local Catchment Management group or Landcare group
  • Check out the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program, Report Card Results for your local catchment

Check out your  Council's Waterways Information resources

Do not litter

Dispose of rubbish and cigarette butts carefully - if litter is dropped on the ground it washes straight down the stormwater drains and directly into the creek, river and out into Moreton Bay

Keep excess nutrients and other unwanted substances out of our waterways

  • Wash the car on the lawn rather than the street
  • Put dog’s droppings in the bin - don't hose them down the drain 
  • Fix car leaks to prevent oil and liquids entering waterways
  • Put your garden clippings in a covered compost bin
  • Don't overuse lawn chemicals such as fertilisers, herbicides and insecticides as any excess will go down the drain

Try making this non toxic cleaning kit

Keep sediment out of our waterways

  • Rehabilitate both urban and rural riparian areas
  • Fence waterways to prevent livestock polluting waterways and eroding banks
  • Keep exposed dirt to a minimum by mulching 
  • Adopt best land management practice 
  • Sweep up dirt and put it in the garden so it doesn't wash down the drain 

Minimise the material going into the sewage system

  • Compost vegetable scraps where possible
  • Don't pour fat or put food straight down the sink

Conserve water

  • Obey Council watering regulations 
  • Reduce evaporation - water the lawn at night or early morning if regulations allow 
  • Grow plants that need less water 
  • Sweep the driveway and compost garden clippings
  • Turn off the tap when cleaning your teeth
  • Fix dripping taps
  • Use water efficient appliances and shower attachments 
  • Use front loading washing machines
   

Treat our waterways with respect

  • Do not release petrol, oil or sewage from your boat
  • Observe speed limits to reduce bank wash and protect our water wildlife 
  • Take your rubbish home with you
   

Buy produce from sustainable producers

  • Read food labelling so you can make informed choices
  • Buy products from sustainable growers
  

Renovate with care

  • Cover stockpiled dirt and sand
  • Don't wash equipment such as paint brushes near stormwater drains and gutters 
  • Properly dispose of used oils, paint, cleaners and other chemicals

Adapted from source: © 2011 Healthy Waterways, accessed, 1 July, 2011

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