H2OK - Keeping our waterways healthy
There are many ways to enjoy the ACT's lakes and waterways. From swimming, boating, and fishing, to walking, cycling, and barbecuing on the shore, all rely on clean and healthy water catchments.
And keeping catchments clean starts with stormwater.
What's stormwater? Stormwater is any rainwater that doesn't soak into the soil or evaporate away, but runs overground, along with anything it picks up on the way. In cities there can be a lot of it, because of all the hard surfaces such as roads, roofs, driveways and footpaths. To prevent flooding, we have a system of drains and pipes to channel stormwater away from buildings and roads. The stormwater system doesn't take rainwater to an industrial filtration plant like the sewage system does. It flows directly into local waterways.
As rainwater runs across different surfaces, it can pick up various types of pollutants. Next time it rains, put on a raincoat, find your closest stormwater drain and watch what goes down with the rainwater. Did you see leaves? Litter? Oil? Dirt? Can you add to the list?
What about all the pollutants you can’t see – fertiliser, insecticide, detergent, chemicals?
Contaminated stormwater is a big contributor to poor water quality. Everyone has a role to play in protecting our lakes and waterways. To get started, check out our top tips for clean stormwater.
The problem with leaves
How does leaf litter contribute to stormwater pollution?
Chemicals and sediment
How do garden chemicals and soil contribute to stormwater pollution?
Tips for clean stormwater
Help keep our waterways healthy with these top tips.
About the H2OK program
Help keep our waterways healthy - only rain down the stormwater drain.
Learn about protecting our waterways with activities, videos and more.
Fact sheets and more
Find out what you can do to prevent contaminated water flowing into our lakes and waterways.