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: