About Water Quality
Everything that enters stormwater drains ends up untreated in our rivers, lakes, estuaries and the ocean through our drainage network. Pollutants in stormwater are having a disastrous impact on all aquatic life, not only harming fish, plants and wildlife, but reducing water quality for humans.
Most wetlands are also an expression of the ground water, so poor water quality in wetlands can be indicative of poor ground water quality. Ground water is a key component of Perth’s water supply and is also often used to irrigate gardens, so any pollution in the ground water can also impact on us at home.
Measuring Water Quality in Melville
The City of Melville conduct an annual water quality monitoring program for all of our wetlands and lakes linked to the Bull Creek Catchment and the Swan River. Recommendations are implemented each year in the form of restoration around lakes, changes to drainage and environmental education around water bodies.
Water Quality reports are available for each year since 2008, measuring water quality across a number of wetland and drainage sites within the City of Melville.
A Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP) was also developed for the Bull Creek Catchment in 2012 in partnership with the Swan River Trust, Water Corporation and South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare. Water quality improvements measures are being implemented throughout City of Melville, including a large partnership project to create a Living Stream at Bateman Reserve.
Impacts of Poor Water Quality
Poor water quality can have a number of impacts, including:
- Birds and fish can become entangled in rubbish
- Increase in weeds due to high nutrients in the water
- Algal blooms can result from a build up in nutrients found in animal waste and in chemical products used by households and businesses
- Oil slicks can occur when oils are poured down drains or wash from the streets into the gutter
- Bacteria building up in stagnant water causing botulism in water birds
- Mosquitos breeding in stagnant water with few macro invertebrates to eat the larvae.
What Can You Do?
There are a number of things you can do to keep our water clean:
- Bin your rubbish securely
- Don't feed bread to waterbirds
- Sweep up grass clippings, leaves, sand and other material and put in a bin or compost
- Don't tip paint, thinners, flea rinses, herbicides, pesticides, oils or other chemicals down the drain
- Pick up your dogs waste and put it in a bin or worm farm. It’s full of nutrients that can feed algal blooms
- Keep garden weeds away from drains. They may end up in rivers or wetlands as invasive weeds
- Wash your car on the lawn to keep detergents out of the storm water drainage system
- Be Fertilise Wise and use the right fertiliser at the right time. Never over-water
- Backwash your pools into a soak well, not into a roadside drain
- Plant native plants that do not drop leaves that can end up getting into stormwater drains and increasing nutrient levels
- Get involved with your local catchment or Environmental Friends Group to help revegetate our local waterways. Native sedges and rushes planted around wetlands can help to take up excess pollution from the water and help filter the water.