Building site crackdown to boost waterways

Jane Burgett from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) checks water quality in the Duck River in Auburn as part of a month-long campaign targeting sediment run-off from construction sites.

Story appeared in: Review | May 21st, 2018

COMPLIANCE officers have been inspecting building sites throughout the Cumberland Council area as part of a month-long campaign targeting sediment run-off.
The Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG), NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Cooks River Alliance, Georges River Riverkeeper, Department of Planning and Environment, and more than 20 councils, including Cumberland, are among those joining forces for the fourth 'Get the Site Right' compliance and education campaign.
Mayor Greg Cummings welcomed the coordinated approach.
"The development of Sydney into a world class city owes a lot to our waterways, from small streams like Duck River to major tributaries like the Parramatta River," he said.
"To restore all our waterways into pristine natural assets requires local councils, state agencies and community organisations to work across traditional boundaries."
PRCG chair Mark Drury says that with Sydney's growing population, there is a rapidly increasing demand for clean, local rivers and creeks.
"In a community survey conducted by the PRCG in 2016, 54 per cent of respondents said they would prefer to swim in the Parramatta River if it was safe to do so," he said.
NSW EPA regional director metropolitan, Giselle Howard, said sediment run-off was an often overlooked issue that could have significant impact on the environment.
"Sediment laden run-off might seem like a small problem limited to gutters and stormwater drains, but when that run-off hits our waterways it not only affects the water quality and amenity, but it smothers aquatic vegetation, clogs fish gills and can even block waterways entirely during storms and floods," she said.
"Everyone in Sydney wants to see our waterways return to a condition where aquatic life can thrive and residents can swim."
Pollution incidents, including poor sediment control, can be reported to the EPA's Environment Line on 131 555.

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Publication: Review | Section: Sport | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 137209 | Viewcount: 3347