Nets to catch pollution

Resident's call for action: Robert Storey is sick of seeing polluted rivers and creeks. He's called for Liverpool Council to clean out lantana weeds, to carry out regular water testing and to provide reports. Picture: Chris Lane
Resident's call for action: Robert Storey is sick of seeing polluted rivers and creeks. He's called for Liverpool Council to clean out lantana weeds, to carry out regular water testing and to provide reports. Picture: Chris Lane

Last August Councillor Peter Harle spoke publicly to Liverpool Council about the urgency of cleaning up Liverpool’s rivers with a solution inspired by a “simple and cost effective system” which was adopted by the city of Kwinana in Western Australia.

He said they used drainage nets to reduce stormwater debris from entering river systems which had collected more than 370 kilograms of debris. He explained how they worked. “The nets are placed on the outlet of two drainage pipes, which are located between residential areas and natural areas. This allows the nets to capture the gross pollutants carried by stormwater from the local road network.

“It cost them under $20,000 which included the cost of design, manufacture, installation and associated civil works. It also saved them the cost of staff required to collect the rubbish by hand which was scattered across the reserve.”

A visual depiction of the item: Gross pollutant trap at Lime Kilne Bay Wetland, Oatley. Picture: Fairfax Media

A visual depiction of the item: Gross pollutant trap at Lime Kilne Bay Wetland, Oatley. Picture: Fairfax Media

The motion was carried and included investigation into installing similar nets and to seek grant funding from State and Federal Governments. 

Liverpool Council acting chief executive Chris White said there’d been progress.

“The council has already installed 181 Gross Pollutant Traps (GPTs) across the local government area and is also selecting locations for the installation of net-type gross pollutant traps at stormwater pipe outlets,” he said. “We’ve secured funding from State and Federal Governments for more pollutant traps.”

Mr White said the council has other strategies.

“Council is implementing creek bank erosion protection and bush regeneration works along the river banks. Water quality management in new residential developments is regulated through the Development Control Plan, which requires developers to provide an integrated system of water quality improvement devices.”

Wattle Grove resident Robert Storey voiced his opinion about river pollution after volunteering his time to cleaning up rivers and creeks in areas like Chauvel Park and Thomas Moore Park as a member of Liverpool Action Group. 

Georges river pollution. Picture: Fairfax Media

Georges river pollution. Picture: Fairfax Media

“With all the new high-rises being built on the Georges River we must act now and put in place strategies if we’re going to call our self a river city. We don’t want to be the city of pollution and weeds,” Mr Storey said.

He said the council should consider a stormwater pipe at Lake Moore as a location for the new net-type gross pollution traps.

“I’m going to get onto the council about the huge stormwater pipes that feed into the Georges River. There’s one that’s got to have a pollution trap on it at Lake Moore. The amount of rubbish I’ve seen come out of it is unbelievable.

“The river is also full on lantana weed, which doesn’t help bird life or fauna. It’s a toxic plant thriving all along the river and council isn’t doing enough.”