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Gold Coast natural environment

We have one of Australia's most biodiverse cities. Let's explore, celebrate and work together to protect it for the future.

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Waterways pollution

Waterways Pollution

It is very important to protect our Gold Coast waterways and any evidence of pollution should be reported as soon as possible.

Water quality monitoring alone is not sufficient to ensure the health of our lakes, canals, rivers and creeks. Please do not hesitate to call environmental protection agencies.

If you become aware of pollutants in a waterway in your local area visit our Report a problem - Pollution page and let us know by completing our online form, or contact our Environmental Health team on 07 5667 5988 or 1800 637 000 (after hours).

Common indicators or examples of a pollution incident that will seriously impact our waterways include:

  • fish or animal kill
  • birdlife that are sick or dead
  • chemical and oil discharges or spills
  • waste dumping or sewage overflow.

The Queensland Government will assist and intervene in major incidents involving serious environmental harm from products such as hazardous chemicals. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) can assist in providing an appropriate response or method of mitigating a potentially hazardous pollution incident.

Waterways Pollution

Report pollution

Time can be critical in preventing environmental damage. Please contact authorities as soon as possible to ensure the necessary response can be initiated.

  • DEHP 24 hour Pollution Hotline 1300 130 372

Further information regarding health of the waterways and water quality monitoring can be obtained by contacting the City on 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) or 07 5582 8211.

Other water conditions

Some water conditions can impact the health of the waterways. These conditions are often seasonal and occur more frequently after rain events.

Slimy brown residue in your local waterway or drain may indicate the presence of iron bacteria - a naturally occurring microorganism that feeds on iron. When the bacteria are feeding, they may leave slimy rust-coloured deposits suspended in our creeks, lakes, canals and rivers.

Large areas of noxious aquatic weeds can occur under these favourable conditions and out compete native plant species. In large numbers, this harms waterways through attacking native aquatic plants and animals.

Significant bacteria slicks such as Trichodesmium blooms can release clear toxins that change from rust brown to green and a pigment that colours the water pink. The concentration of the toxin in a natural system, like the ocean, is generally not high enough to be harmful to human health.

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