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Stormwater responsible

Get stormwater responsible

The quality of stormwater has a dramatic effect on life in our waterways. We are committed to protecting the ecological health and sustainability of our waterways.

Stormwater is any water that runs off surfaces such as lawns, roads, roofs, car parks or natural ground surfaces. It then enters our waterways untreated through a stormwater system.

Substances such as oil, detergents and paints are readily transported through this process and can upset delicate ecological systems and deteriorate water quality.

Pollutants increase the amount of nutrients in our waterways, causing an imbalance in the aquatic environment. Aquatic ecosystems are delicate in nature and can react strongly to small changes in water conditions. It is vitally important for residents to take personal responsibility for controlling pollution before it enters our waterways.

Think about some of your every day activities and how they impact on stormwater and our waterways:


Litter maims and kills wildlife and can potentially release other pollutants over time.


Herbicides and pesticides that are used incorrectly in home gardens can be washed into our waterways where they can kill large numbers of fish.

Grass and garden clippings, detergents and animal waste

Grass clippings are high in nitrogen and other nutrients. When not disposed of correctly, they wash into waterways during rain. Green garden waste can contain the seeds and vegetative parts of weeds, such as stems and tubers, which can result in new infestations of serious environmental weeds along river banks.

Garden clippings, detergents and animal droppings from our backyards increase nutrient loads in waterways, which can stimulate algal blooms. 

Soil, sand and sediment

Soil, sand, sediment and litter from building sites and other exposed areas, such as dirt roads and quarries, can wash into our waterways and smother seagrasses and other aquatic plants and animals.

Polluted stormwater results in poor water quality in our waterways and compromises recreational activities, such as fishing and swimming. Follow these easy solutions to improve stormwater quality:

  • deposit waste engine oil and solvents with a recycler or a collection point
  • fix oil and fluid leaks on your car
  • wash cars and other equipment on the lawn to filter out detergent residue
  • reuse plastic bags or dispose of them thoughtfully
  • put litter and cigarette butts in the bin
  • avoid over watering your gardens and lawns
  • apply fertilisers in moderation
  • compost
  • use pesticides only according to label requirements
  • cover sand, cement and other building materials to prevent them being washed away
  • collect pet droppings and dispose of them thoughtfully
  • sweep instead of hosing your driveway
  • build swales and barriers to prevent soil being washed away during heavy rain
  • prevent leaves and grass clippings from entering stormwater drains
  • construct permeable pavements
  • spread the word.

Why not consider joining one of the catchment groups in the city who are helping to protect and improve Gold Coast waterways? Visit the Watergum website to find out how to get involved.

Remember, everyone can make a difference!

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