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
Do not litterDispose 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
- 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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Useful Tips and Facts
- A standard showerhead may use up to 25 litres of water per minute whereas water-efficient showerhead might use as little as seven litres per minute, which is less than a third.
- A water-efficient washing machine may use only one-third the water of an inefficient model.
- An old-style single-flush toilet could use up to 12 litres of water per flush, while a standard dual flush toilet uses just a quarter of this on a half-flush.
- As a guide, running your hose at maximum capacity can use up to 20 litres per minute, so a full 1000-litre tank will provide around 50 minutes of hosing.
- Ask council to provide you with a species list most suitable to your local conditions.
- Check for leaks regularly as even one dripping tap can waste up to 2,000 litres per month. To do this, turn off your water for a few hours, if your meter reading changes it will be obvious that you have a leak.
- Check your pool for leaks. A leaking pool can lose up to 500 litres a day.
- Check your toilet for leaks, a leaking toilet can use up to 15 litres every day.
- Checking your water meter regularly allows you to notice if your property has any hidden leaks.
- Many native plants conserve water with small leaves often covered in a tough or hairy surface. Internal water storage and deep roots help them survive in times of drought.
- Moreton bay residents are entitled to a free cubic metre of mulch a month from the local waste facility.
- Mulch your garden regularly. This helps maintain moisture in the soil and control weeds that compete with plants for water.
- Regularly check outdoor taps, pipes and plumbing fixtures for leaks. A single dripping tap can waste up to 2,000 litres a month.
- Take note of the rainfall your garden receives. If your area has received significant rainfall (more than 50mm) it may be weeks before you need to water again.
- To rinse your razor, run a little water into a plugged sink. Rinsing your razor under a running tap wastes a lot of water.
- Water deeply and less frequently to encourage plants and lawn to grow deeper roots and be more resilient to dry times. Twice a week should be sufficient if you have a well-mulched garden, suitable soil and established plants
- Where possible reduce the amount of time you use your garbage disposal unit. This will save up to 7 litres a minute.