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Last Updated
Thursday, 5 January 2017
A handful of Cigarette Butts

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.

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 for $29.70 from Council reception at the Town Hall Alexandra St.

If all else fails you can 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.

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