Beautiful creeks and waterways are a wonderful part of our City – but how healthy are they?
From July this year, it will be easier to find out, with the release of Council’s Blue Mountains Waterway Health Report – a user-friendly brochure showing the results of Council’s Water Quality Monitoring Program.
Since 1998, Council has regularly tested waterway health at up to 50 waterways across the City. As a result, we now have one of the richest water quality data sets in Australia, and Council uses this data to inform its catchment improvement programs.
While detailed water quality reports have been published on Council’s website since 2006, the new brochure aims to make this information readily accessible to everyone in the community. It is hoped people will be prompted to think about local waterway health and what they can do to help.
The report card shows each sample waterway in the Blue Mountains, the catchment within which it flows, and its state of ecological health (rated Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor). In the 2016 report, 53% of tested waterways are in good condition or better.
Our city is lucky to have some of Australia’s best waterways, but they are also vulnerable to pollution – especially due to stormwater runoff from urban areas.
Urban runoff is consistently identified as the number one environmental threat to our World Heritage listing and presents challenges for local drinking water catchments, Endangered Ecological Communities, threatened species and the City’s tourism reputation.
Everything that goes into our gutters and streets ends up in our creeks
Try these few simple actions to help protect our waterways from urban runoff:
- Keep pollutants out of drains (litter, soil and sand, fertilisers and pesticides, detergents, oil, animal droppings and garden waste).
- Install a rainwater tank to capture rainwater from your roof and use it regularly.
- Design your garden to allow stormwater to soak into the ground.
- Control invasive weeds on your property.
- Don’t dump fish or plants in waterways.
The Report Card will be sent to all ratepayers with Council’s newsletter from July.
To find out more about our local waterways, visit www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/waterways