Georges Riverkeeper is the recipient of a $700,000 Environmental Restoration Fund program grant from the Australian Government to help reduce litter flowing to the Georges River waterways via stormwater.

It’s estimated that 95% of the pollution in the Georges River is a result of stormwater runoff

Stormwater pollution include oils, detergents and tyre residue that runs off roads, fertilisers, pesticides and lawn clippings that run off gardens, sediment or soil from construction sites, pet waste, chemicals, paints and oils that are carelessly disposed and end up in outdoor drains, as well as gross pollutants from litter.

Pollution in the river is like a poison, causing harm to the plants, animals and river health, and threatening human health, safety and wellbeing.

Gross Pollutant Traps (GPTs) are one of the current ‘end of line’ solutions to help stop waste from entering waterways.

But they are not perfect; they are expensive to construct and maintain, can’t be placed over every stormwater outlet, get full quickly, are often overwhelmed in times of high and fast stormwater flow, and may impact stream flow and sedimentation.

The Zero Litter to the Georges River project has several components that are being undertaken in partnership with a number of Georges Riverkeeper’s member councils, up to the project’s completion in March 2023.

Campbelltown City Council, City of Canterbury Bankstown, Fairfield City Council and Georges River Council will undertake priority projects to upgrade crucial stormwater management infrastructure and improve the performance of, or replace, problem GPTs at critical sites.

Liverpool City Council is conducting a GPT audit of over 75 devices, to gain more information about their GPTs so they can operate better and be maintained more appropriately.

Sutherland Shire Council is leading the research component of this project by looking at the performance of existing GPTs, the feasibility of installing new GPTs, and developing a best-practice process for Councils to use.

Georges Riverkeeper is also bringing this project to several schools across the Georges River catchment to teach students about litter, GPTs and stormwater. The students will conduct stormwater drain audits, develop a campaign about the problem and create drain art to be installed in the community.

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government.

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