It is illegal to allow anything except rainwater to enter the stormwater system.
Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act (1997) there are substantial penalties that apply. Business owners and land holders are responsible for prevention of pollution.
In the Hilltops area, most stormwater enters the drain off hard surfaces including roofs, roads and driveways. However, unlike sewerage, stormwater is not treated to remove pollution before it reaches our waterways.
Preventing stormwater pollution
Litter can block drains and contribute to flooding. Most businesses in the area already control litter. Good practices include:
- Keep a secure lid on bins.
- If possible, provide bins where staff or customers smoke and congregate.
Chemicals commonly found in stormwater include paint, detergent, oil, pesticides and fertilisers. To manage chemicals effectively:
- Sweep and mop to keep floors clean, especially if rainwater flows across the surface.
- If hosing is necessary, make sure no chemicals enter stormwater.
- Dispose of used oil and chemicals through a licensed collection service.
- Wash cars on the grass or at a car wash.
Sediment includes soil and sand from gardens, building sites and roads. To manage sediment effectively:
- Seal or gravel road surfaces where possible.
- Use trees, grass or landscaping to reduce erosion.
- For more on controls such as hay bales or fencing refer to the publication ‘Soils and Construction: Managing Urban Stormwater’ at www.environment.nsw.gov.au.
Grass clippings, pet waste and fallen leaves become pollution when they are concentrated in urban stormwater. To manage natural pollutants:
- Sweep leaves from the gutter and drains
- Prevent soil and grass clippings from entering the drain.