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Last Updated
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tipperary Falls

Catchment Management

A catchment is an area of land that drains to a single point or outlet. Catchments are generally named after the main river that carries runoff water to its outlet. Because water always runs downhill, ridgelines separate one catchment from another. You can find ridgelines, and hence the catchment boundaries, by following each stream or drainage line upstream to the hill where it starts, then draw a line between the hills.

Hunters Hill Local Government Area is split between two main catchments, the Lane Cove River Catchment and the Parramatta River Catchment. Clarke’s Point at Woolwich indicates where the mouths of the river estuaries meet and flow into Sydney Harbour with the ridgeline, separating the catchments running through the middle of the Hunters Hill Council area. Hunter’s Hill Council is committed to improving the quality of water that flows to receiving environments and is working with other councils to maintain and improve the environmental value of these catchments.

Stormwater and Pollution

Stormwater pollution is a major problem in the Hunters Hill local area. The construction of roads, footpaths, driveways and other hard surfaces has changed the way water flows through the Hunters Hill Catchment. These changes can have a range of adverse impacts.

Poor water quality and degraded aquatic ecosystem health in rivers and creeks impacts on the quality of our beaches and coastal areas we all like to enjoy. Altered stormwater flow can change the pattern of flow in streams and rivers impacting on fish and other marine life.

Council is attempting to reduce the impact we have on the natural waterways by educating residents in notified problem areas and implementing strategies to better manage the urban catchment and stormwater infrastructure.

By managing what we put onto hard surfaces and into drains we can reduce the frequency and magnitude of localised flooding events and improve the quality of Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers that border the Hunters Hill Peninsula.

You can help keep our waterways clean and healthy by doing a few things around the house, in the garden and whilst your out and about:

Around the House

  • Re-use grey water
  • Sweep paths or driveways, don’t use a hose
  • Use phosphorus free detergents
  • Take oils and paints to a recycling facility

In the Garden

  • Don’t cut the grass too short
  • Plant local native species
  • Be aware of water restrictions
  • Use less fertiliser and chemicals
  • Compost and mulch

Out and about

  • Pick up after your dog
  • Don’t litter
  • Bin cigarette butts

And please remember, “The drain is just for rain”

Pollution Offences

Did you know that it is an offence to place material in the gutter? Rainwater that falls and collects in the gutter, otherwise known as stormwater, is protected under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 - Sect 120. In this section it is prohibited for a person to pollute ‘any waters’.

Any ‘prescribed matter’ as identified in schedule 3 of the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 1998 (which includes any leaves, grass, sawdust, soil, sand, dog poo, oil and paints) that is placed in or ‘placed in a position where it can fall, descend, be washed, blown or percolate’ into ‘any drain, channel or gutter used or designed to receive or pass rainwater’ is classed as an offence.

A person who is guilty of such an offence may receive a penalty notice for the offence consisting of a fine of $750 for individuals or $1500 for corporations as stipulated in Schedule 1 of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Penalty Notices) Regulation 2004.

It is NOT acceptable to sweep material in the gutter for the street sweeper to collect. Operating on a fortnightly basis, the street sweeper cannot mitigate the environmental impact polluted stormwater can have on our natural waterways.

The following actions can be used as an alternative to sweeping material into the gutter:

  • Use a bin - General waste can be swept up from the footpath or road and placed into your weekly-collected Red-Lid garbage bin. Garden vegetation and leaves from trees can be swept up and placed in your Green Lid Vegetation bin. If you don’t have a green bin you can request a new service by downloading the form from the bottom of the waste management page.
  • Start composting - Composting is natural and inexpensive. Its great for soil and the garden. Compost bins can be purchased from most major garden centres in Sydney
  • Sweep fallen leaves into piles on the nature strip or to the base of trees in your garden or on the nature strip. It is not illegal to sweep up leaves off the footpath but it is illegal to place them in the gutter once they have been swept up.

Please be aware of your environmental and legal responsibilities within the community. The council ranger has been instructed to be on the look out for offenders.

If you witness any one committing such an offence please report it to the Council Ranger on (02) 9879 9400.

Water Sensitive Urban Design

WSUD reflects a new paradigm in the planning and design of urban environments that is ‘sensitive’ to the issues of water sustainability and environmental protection.

As defined by Wong (2006a), WSUD is focused on the synergies within and between the urban built form and landscape, and the urban water cycle, recognising that community values and aspirations play an important role in urban design decisions and water management practices. Therefore it challenges conventional urban water servicing by inter-linking the management of urban water streams (potable supply, wastewater and stormwater) with the goals of minimising and treating pollution discharges, reducing potable water use, and efficiently matching different water sources
(such as recycled water and treated stormwater) to ‘fit-for-purpose’ uses.

These aims are met through the urban design process (the planning and architectural design of urban environments) by: the provision of integrated urban water management infrastructure; reintroducing the aesthetic and intrinsic values of waterways back into the urban landscape; and promoting new forms of urban design and architecture within the built environment (Wong, 2006b).

From: Brown, R.R. and Clarke, J.M. (2007) Transition to Water Sensitive Urban Design: The story of Melbourne, Australia, Report No. 07/1, Facility for Advancing Water Biofiltration, Monash University, June 2007

Council adopted DCP 25 (Sustainable Water) in 2004. For full guidelines on roof stormwater and site drainage issues please refer to the DCP.

For disposal of stormwater overflows from rainwater tank storage, on-site detention, driveways and paved areas or private property generally, gravity drainage is required where possible in combination with an easement over downstream properties if necessary. Pump out systems will only be allowed for basement or ramp waters. 'Charged systems' or absorption trenches are permissible for properties sloping down from the street to the rear, so long as they adhere to concept guidelines in the Sustainable Water DCP No.25

All stormwater connections to Council systems are to be done under Council supervision following payments of fees and charges.

  • Water tank storage is required for any additional roofed area greater than 40m², or where a dwelling is demolished and another built.
  • Note that a drainage easement is the legal right to drain through another property. The presence of a pipe does not necessarily imply an easement exists. The certificate of title of a property will outline rights or burdens of easement. There can be no rights of drainage over another property without an easement.
  • Sydney Water has no involvement in stormwater in Hunters Hill with the exception of Tarban Creek Channel.
  • Hunter's Hill Council has no responsibilities in sewerage disposal or water supply, other than notification of Sydney Water for environmental reasons.
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