Most of us (as much as 80 percent according to a survey conducted in February 2016) spend time enjoying one or more of the lakes and waterways in the ACT.  

Not surprisingly, walking, jogging, cycling and barbecues are common activities. Outside the ACT swimming, boating and fishing rank high.

With so much of our time spent on, in or near the water, we have to be able to trust that the water is clean and healthy and that it won’t make us sick.

And it all starts with stormwater. Next time it rains, put on a raincoat, find your closest stormwater drain and watch what goes down it, along with the rainwater. How many of the following did you see? Can you add to the list?

  • Soil/sediment
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Litter
  • Oil/petrol
  • Cigarette butts
  • Dog poo
  • Animal droppings
  • Gravel
  • Paint

What about all the pollutants you can’t see - fertiliser, insecticide, detergent, chemicals? 

Contaminated stormwater is a big contributor to poor water quality but there are lots of things we can all do to clean up the stormwater that flows, largely untreated, into our lakes and waterways.

An image with the message 'only rain down the stormwater drain'. The image features an illustrated platypus and rubbish under the water.

The ACT Water Strategy 2014-44: Striking the Balance focuses on three key outcomes:

  • healthy catchments and waterbodies
  • a sustainable water supply used efficiently
  • a community that values and enjoys clean, healthy catchments.