Water Pollution Prevention

Water Quality

The stormwater drains in our street are linked directly to our local waterways. The water that enters our stormwater system goes untreated and pollutants that enter our waterways accumulate to create a massive problem.

To maintain the quality of the water in our local water ways think before allowing anything to enter the stormwater system.

If it's not rain, don't put it in the drain.

Prevent Stormwater Pollution in your Community

In urban areas pollutions from many small and diffuse sources combines in stormwater to carry a large and concentrated problem into our waters, so it is important to do all you can to minimise your daily impact.

Your Home

  • Ensure that everyone in your household understands the difference between the stormwater system and the sewerage system. Drains in the kitchen, laundry, toilet and bathroom are connected to the sewerage. Outside your house you may have a sewer connection under a tap over a gully trap. All other outsider drains and roof drains should be connected to the stormwater.
  • Keep garden and green litter out of the stormwater system. Sweep up grass cuttings and leaves and dispose of them to your compost, garden, to a green waste recycling depot or, as a last resort, the rubbish bin.
  • Dry sweep rather than hose down driveways and paths to help conserve water as well as prevent stormwater pollution.


  • Use fertilisers and chemicals sparingly and never near drains and natural waterways.
  • Use pesticides only as part of an integrated management plan and never during windy conditions or when rain is likely within 24 hours of application.
  • Colour herbicides with a suitable non-toxic dye to indicate where they have been used.
  • Dispose of chemicals and pesticides at an approved waste depot.

Your Car

  • Avoid using your car wherever possible and keep you car properly tuned. Never allow your car to leak oil or any other fluids.
  • Always wash your car on a grassed or other area that allows wash water to soak into the ground and not run into the stormwater. Alternatively, use a commercial car wash.
  • Carry a litter bag in your car to help prevent litter ending up on the side of the road.

Preventing Stormwater Pollution in your Business

Many small to medium sized businesses in the Mitcham and Marion areas are of a high priority with concern to stormwater pollution. This particularly includes automotive, manufacturing, engineering, retail, storage and transport, however all businesses should be thinking about their environmental impact and taking measures to minimise it:

  • Keep your premises clean to avoid unintentional pollution of the stormwater system.
  • Ensure drainage from any work or wash areas are isolated from the stormwater.
  • Make arrangements to recycle used oils, chemicals and other materials or dispose of them at an approved waste depot.
  • Locate tanks and valves in a bunded area (ie a low wall built to contain liquids). Speed humps across the entrance to the workshop can turn the whole workshop into a bunded area.
  • Dry sweep or vacuum rather than hose down work floors and forecourts to help conserve water as well as prevent stormwater pollution.


  • Have an emergency spill response plan and ensure employees are aware of the procedure.
  • Stop the source of the spills and isolate or contain it from the stormwater system.
  • Relocate activities the could involve fuel, oil, grease, coolant, chemicals, solvents and/or cleaning agents, drainage, leakage or spills to undercover areas fitted with grease and silt traps.
  • Contact emergency services if spill is large or hazardous.

For more information on stormwater management for your specific business type, click here.

Prevent Stormwater Pollution from Building and Construction

The quality of our stormwater can be greatly influenced by the building and construction industry. Minimising erosion and pollutants from building sites is an essential part of stormwater management. It is also important to implement measures on your building site in order to comply with the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry (required under the Environment Protection Act 1993) as well as the Water Quality Policy.

  • Limit disturbance when excavating and preserve as much grassed area as possible.
  • Restrict vehicle access to a single entry/exit point. Add gravel to the access point to reduce the amount of soil being carried offsite.
  • Create diversion channels to divert stormwater run-off around the building site.
  • Install a sediment barrier down slope of the building site to filter coarse sediment before it enters the stormwater system.
  • Place sand and soil stockpiles wholly on site and behind a sediment barrier. Cover stockpiles if excessive wind or rain is likely.
  • Connect temporary or permanent downpipes to the stormwater system before laying the roof.
  • Store all hard waste and litter in a suitable bin. All materials should be recycled through a licensed waste contractor.
  • Do not allow waste concrete, plaster or paint to enter the stormwater system.

Codes of Practice, legislation and information on stormwater management can be found on the Environmental Protection Authority Website. For further information on any of the matter discussed here contact the Environment Officer at the City on Mitcham on 8372 8888.