Learn how we care for our waterways, how to choose better appliances and systems for your home to save water, plus ways to limit stormwater pollution at home, in your business and during construction.

We all play a part in looking after our waterways

You can make a difference to our planet by looking after creeks on your property, choosing water-efficient products and systems, using a rainwater tank, and putting wastewater to work.

Read about our water initiatives

How to look after a creek on your property

If you have a creek that passes through or is on the boundary of your property you have a legal responsibility to look after the creek. This includes reducing the risk of flooding, maintaining and stabilising the creek bed and sides to prevent erosion and to ensure no pollution gets into the creek from your property. To find out how to manage your creek download Urban Creeks or visit the Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges website.

How to choose water-efficient products and systems

In Australia, we have mandatory water efficiency labels and standards (WELS) for showerheads, washing machines, toilets, dishwashers and some taps. The more stars on the label, the more efficient the product, and the better the choice.

For more information about the WELS scheme visit the Water Rating website.

There’s also a waterwise labelling scheme for outdoor household products. When shopping for your outdoor water-saving products, look for the 'Smart Approved WaterMark' logo. Visit the Smart Approved WaterMark website for more information.

How to choose the right rainwater tank

If you want to buy a rainwater tank, make sure you know the size you need. You might be able to get a rebate through SA Water.

For more information about choosing the right size water tank, call the Water Wise Hotline on 1800 130 952.

How to use a rainwater tank

How to use wastewater

Greywater is wastewater from the kitchen, laundry, bath, shower or hand basin (not blackwater from toilets). You can reuse greywater on your lawns or gardens (as long as you follow the Department of Health guidelines).

Recent changes to legislation mean you can use a bucket, or temporarily direct greywater to water lawns and gardens manually.

There are some risks associated with using greywater, so permanent systems need approval from us, or the Department of Health. You can read installation guidelines for permanent greywater systems here.

Designing water sensitive gardens

Discover how to design smart water solutions for your home and backyard including rainwater tanks, permeable paving and raingardens,

Visit Water Sensitive SA

How to look after our stormwater system

Our stormwater drains are linked directly to our local waterways. The water that enters our stormwater system goes untreated, which means pollutants can build up and create a big problem.

To keep our waterways clean, only let rain enter the drain.

Tips for preventing stormwater pollution in your community

Pollutants from small sources combine in the stormwater system in our urban areas, carrying a large problem into our waters. It’s easy to lessen your daily impact by making changes to your routine.

In your home:
  • Teach your household the difference between the stormwater system and the sewerage system. Drains in the kitchen, laundry, toilet and bathroom connect to sewerage. Outside your home, you might have a sewer connection under a tap over a gully trap. All of your other outside drains and roof drains should connect to the stormwater system.
  • Keep your garden and green litter out of the stormwater system. Sweep up grass cuttings and leaves and put them in your compost and garden, in your green organics bin, or take them to a Lynton green organics drop-off facility. Your rubbish bin should be the last resort.
  • Instead of hosing, dry sweep your driveway and path to help save water and stop pollution.
In your car:
  • Use your car as little as you can and keep it properly tuned. Never let your car leak oil or any other fluids.
  • Wash your car on a grassed area to let water soak into the ground or use a commercial car wash.
  • Keep a bin bag in your car to stop rubbish ending up our roads.
When using chemicals
  • Use fertilisers and chemicals as little as possible, and never use them near drains and waterways.
  • Only use pesticides in integrated management plans, and never during windy weather or when it might rain in the next 24 hours.
  • Colour herbicides with a non-toxic dye to show where you’ve used them.
  • Get rid of chemicals and pesticides at approved waste depots.

Tips for preventing stormwater pollution in your business

Small and medium-sized businesses can play their part to help prevent stormwater pollution.

All businesses should consider their environmental impact and take measures to minimise it:

  • Keep your site clean to stop polluting the stormwater system.
  • Don’t let water from work or wash areas flow into stormwater.
  • Use recycled oils, chemicals and other materials, or get rid of them at our approved waste depots.
  • Find tanks and valves in a bunded area (a low wall built to contain liquids).
  • You can turn the workshop into a bunded area with speed humps across the entrance.
  • Sweep or vacuum floors and forecourts to save water stop stormwater pollution.
How to deal with spills
  • Have a workplace plan ready to deal with emergency spills.
  • Stop the source of the spills and stop it from entering the stormwater drain.
  • Move activities that use fuel, oil, grease, coolant, chemicals, solvents, cleaning agents, drainage, leakage or spills to undercover areas with grease and silt traps.
  • Contact emergency services if the spill is large or a hazard.

You can find the right stormwater management for your business here.

Tips for preventing stormwater pollution when building

The building and construction industry affects our stormwater quality in a big way. Building sites can lessen their impact on stormwater by reducing erosion and pollution, and by complying with the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry.

It’s required by the Environment Protection Act 1993, and the Water Quality Policy:

  • Limit erosion when you excavate and keep as much grassed are as you can.
  • Choose one entry/exit point for vehicles to access your site (add gravel to reduce soil being carried off site).
  • Divert stormwater run-off around the building site with channels.
  • Install a barrier down the slope of the building site to filter coarse sediment before it gets into the stormwater system.
  • Stockpile sand and soil behind a sediment barrier on your site and cover it if you’re expecting wind.
  • Connect temporary or permanent downpipes to the stormwater system before you lay the roof.
  • Store all of your waste in a bin and recycle through a licensed contractor.
  • Don’t let concrete, plaster or paint enter the stormwater system.

We are working with all builders to help protect the environment by:

  • Removing mud on road - sweep up (don't wash up)
  • Recycle or re-use building materials
  • Use sediment fences, hay bales, or bunds to reduce waterway pollution.
  • Use a single gravel exit/entry point to sites.

For more information about stormwater

You can find codes of practice, legislation and information on stormwater management on the Environmental Protection Authority website.

You can also call our environment team on 8372 8888.