Water pollution

Unlike sewage, stormwater is not treated.

Larger items are filtered through physical traps, but stormwater flows directly from your street and gutter into the harbour.

The North Sydney CBD is one of the largest in Australia. Its stormwater runoff has an environmental impact through the deposit of pollutants such as litter, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, sediments, silt and other contaminants.

After rainfall, you may be advised not to swim for a couple of days at affected beaches as the pollution carried with the rainwater may pose a significant health risk. The most effective way to reduce stormwater pollution is to stop it entering the system in the first place.

There are many things we can all do to help keep the harbour healthy:

  • don’t wash your car on the street as detergent can run into the street drain
  • don’t fix your car on the street as oil or coolant can flow into the street drain
  • dispose of garden waste responsibly and don’t allow leaves to accumulate in gutters or driveways
  • put litter in a bin so it’s not swept into the street drains next time it rains
  • clean paintbrushes responsibly without contaminated water getting into the street drain
  • use a broom - hosing a footpath carries dirt and other waste into street drains
  • dispose of dog waste so droppings are not carried into the stormwater system.

Every workplace can also play a role in keeping the harbour clean:

  • restaurants - don’t put any type of oil or grease into a stormwater drain
  • vehicle repairers and printers - don’t let oil, chemicals or other waste flow into the street drain
  • builders - shield street drains from spilt chemicals, excess soil, sand, gravel or other building waste
  • all workplaces - avoid cigarette butts and litter falling into gutters or on driveways, and don’t let chemicals, detergents or other harmful fluids run into street drains.

You can report cases of water pollution for investigation to Council.

Contact Council

Our Customer Service Centre operates from 9am to 5pm. Our Council Rangers are on duty and contactable seven days a week from 5.30am to midnight.

Address: Customer Service Centre, 200 Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060

Telephone: (02) 9936 8100

Aerial view of North Sydney

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