Blue Mountains City Council, with funding from Council’s Environment Levy, is teaming up with the local community and the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) in a $300,000 project to clean up Leura Falls Creek.
Leura Falls Creek forms the headwaters of Leura Cascades, one of the Blue Mountains’ most well-loved locations. In recent years, this iconic waterway has suffered increasingly from the effects of urban stormwater runoff and pollution. The Leura Falls project aims to improve creek condition by constructing seven pollution-trapping stormwater treatment systems within the catchment, restoring degraded creek sections and running hands-on education workshops for local businesses and residents.
The Leura Falls Creek Catchment Working Group (LFCCWG), made up of five dedicated local Bushcare volunteer groups, will be actively involved, – assisting the Council and the SCA to run a comprehensive monitoring program to track changes in water quality.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said, “Our City sits within a major drinking water catchment, servicing 3.7 million people, so healthy local waterways are critical to our water supply. They also underpin local recreation, tourism and biodiversity. Urban stormwater runoff is one of the biggest threats to our local waterways and our community consistently rates local water quality as a significant priority (in Council’s annual community survey). Council is currently restoring over 130 creek and bushland sites such as Leura Falls Creek across the City, – work which is only made possible with funding raised through Council’s Environment Levy. We can all do our bit to protect local waterways from the damaging effects of urban stormwater by not sweeping or hosing leaves or sediment down drains, and using water sensitive urban design (such as rainwater tanks) on our properties,” said the Mayor.
The Council secured a $150,000 grant from the SCA for the project by matching the grant with a $150,000 contribution from Council’s Environment Levy. The Levy raises around $1.5 million annually from Council rates and funds projects to restore creeks, improve water quality, control noxious weeds and maintain walking tracks and lookouts across the City.
The SCA grant is part of the NSW Government’s $1.9 million commitment to help councils in Sydney’s drinking water catchments improve sewage and stormwater infrastructure. The SCA’s Priority Pollutants Program is designed to reduce the amount of pollutants flowing to drinking water storages.
From left to right: Cr Don Macgregor (BMCC), Susan Jalaluddin, Jenny Hill and Lynne Carson (LFCCWG), Kristy Good (Program Coordinator, SCA) and Geoffrey Smith (Natural Environment Program Leader, BMCC) at Leura Cascades.