Protecting our waterways and saving water
These days it is common practice for businesses to have strict policies and procedures in place to protect waterways from pollution. Responsible business owners who help their community and environment ensure that:
- All chemicals used on their premises are appropriately disposed of;
- The cleaning of vehicles and equipment is done in an area that does not drain to the stormwater system;
- Skip bins and other waste facilities are kept tightly sealed and tidy;
- Organic materials and soils from landscaping are removed and disposed of responsibly;
- Litter is gathered and disposed of daily, especially in retail centres; and
- Butt bins are provided for clients and employees who smoke, and dropped butts are swept up daily.
Stormwater as a resource
Some progressive businesses are recognising the value of stormwater as a resource for their business. Stormwater can be harvested from rooftops and paved surfaces, saving money and providing a source of water for a whole range of non-contact purposes. This way of thinking is called water sensitive urban design.
For further details, contact Council's Water and Catchments Coordinator or phone 9335 2104.
What happens if I do the wrong thing?
Stormwater pollution from industry degrades local rivers and oceans through contamination with heavy metals, nutrients, sediments and rubbish. Common problems include:
- hosing of industrial premises, footpaths and driveways;
- discharge of wastewater from premises to stormwater; and
- washing vehicles in the street.
Industry that allows polluted water to enter stormwater drains will attract a $1500 on-the-spot fine.
Simple low cost water saving actions
- Installing aerators will reduce the flow rate of your tap by up to 50%
- Inline flow regulators can be used to regulate the flow leading to a lever operated tap (mixer) or basin
- Replacing your conventional pre-rinse valves with smart rinse valves will reduce your water consumption in the kitchen but around 40%
- Install a water displacement device in single or dual flush toilets will displace up to 2L per flush
- Cistern weights when installed will allow the toilet to flush only when the button is held down
- Identify any leaks (1 drip per second from a leaking tap equates to 7000L per year)
Water saving actions requiring longer term investment
- Install dual flush toilets - toilets with the option of half (3L) or full flush (4.5L or 6L)
- Waterless urinals which do not require water in the flushing process
- Infrared sensor hand basins and urinals that detect the user and only delivers water as required
- Grey water systems which allow the reuse of the rinse cycles of dishwashers, washing machines and hand washing for use in the garden and/or the toilet
- Rainwater tanks that capture water to be used for gardens and/or the toilet. Businesses may be eligible for Rainwater Tank rebates through Marrickville Council's Rainwater Tank Rebate Program.
- Water sub meters enable accurate measuring of water usage relating to a specific piece of equipment or a particular area of the business
- When purchasing new appliances or water saving fixtures, look for the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) label on the products. The label will show the star rating (up to 6 stars) and the water consumption or flow rate. The higher the star rating the more water efficient the product