How to Help Keep Brisbane Waterways Healthy

We all have a role to play in keeping Brisbane’s waterways safe and healthy, now and for the future.

Wetlands, creeks and rivers are a vital part of the city’s infrastructure and lifestyle providing recreational activities such as fishing and kayaking, as well as unique habitats for birds and other animals.

Preventing or reducing water pollution is essential if we are to keep enjoying our waterways. Not-for-profit organisation Healthy Waterways works to maintain water quality, and we can also help as individuals, businesses and communities to improve and protect our waterways from pollution, here’s how.

In the Garden

Being aware of your actions on your own property can make a difference. For example, minimise the use of chemicals in the garden and don’t apply fertilisers or pesticides if it looks like rain, as these can run off into a stormwater drain or into your local waterway. Other ways you can minimise environmental impact on your property are:

  • Build a raingarden or plant native shrubs and trees to capture, filter and treat stormwater runoff.
  • Use mulch on your garden beds to reduce run off.
  • Sweep up dirt and mud rather than hose it down the drain.
  • Wash your car on the lawn rather than in the driveway.
  • Be mindful of watering, e.g. water deeply once a week rather than three times a week.
  • Install an automatic timer to turn water off.
  • Use organic methods to deter pests such as herbs and flowers they dislike.

In the House

Your house has water outlets such as sinks, showers and toilets that can affect waterways. For example, even after treatment, detergents, paints and solvents can flow into the sewerage system and end up polluting waterways. They can also increase treatment costs, so avoid putting these down sinks and stormwater drains. You can also help in the house by:

  • Buying detergents, cleaning agents and washing powders which are low in phosphates.
  • Use environmentally-safe alternatives such as baking soda and vinegar.
  • Use only the recommended amount or use the ‘suds saver’ on your washing machine to recycle washing water.
  • Fix dripping taps, just one dripping tap equals ten deep bathfulls of water a month.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.
  • Installing a dual-flush toilet or water-conserving shower nozzle.

Out & About

How you dispose of rubbish when you’re out and about can also affect waterways. For example, plastics, such as water bottles, are the most common item removed from our waterways and can choke and kill wildlife. So dispose of it responsibly in a nearby rubbish bin or take it home with you to recycle. Purchasing a reusable water bottle is one suggestion to prevent water bottles ending up in waterways, another is to find a water fountain, and if you’re having a community event, to hire a portable water refill station.

Metal Biz has taken steps to reduce water run-off. How will you as an individual, business or community get involved in keeping our waterways healthy?