Time to celebrate World Water Day!
In this article:
World Water Day is held each year on the 22nd of March and aims to promote the importance of protecting, conserving and improving water management and use around the world.
The City of Casey is continuing to look for opportunities to minimise potable water use to use other water sources, such as grey water and stormwater, where it is acceptable and safe to do so. It is integrating water management consideration in the development of new buildings and parks throughout the city to minimise water loss.
The City of Casey’s Sustainability Plan identifies ‘Actions to minimise potable water use’ as an area for Council action. The stormwater harvesting projects, and many other actions, are helping Council to implement the Sustainability Plan.
There are many actions residents can take to reduce water use and reduce their water bills.
Think about your water wisely before using it!
Over 70% of our Earth's surface is covered by water but only 3% is fresh. Less than one third of 1% of this fresh water is available for human use. The rest is frozen in glaciers or polar ice caps, or is deep within the earth, beyond our reach.
As the population grows, water is becoming a more precious resource. Australia’s climate is highly variable and the long term increase in Melbourne’s temperature and recent drought conditions has increased emphasis of water conservation.
By saving water at home you reduce your water bills and help maintain healthier rivers and creeks.
Some great tips on how you can reduce high quality (potable/ drinking) water usage at home:
- Check water efficiency rating prior to installing household appliances that use water, such as washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, taps and showers
- Take shorter showers
- Use water efficient showerheads
- Only use your washing machine and dishwasher when they are full
- Don’t leave the water running while brushing and washing dishes by hand
- Fix leaks and dripping taps. Check for leaking pipes by reading your water meter before you go to bed, then again in the morning. If there has been no water use overnight, and the reading has changed, you may have a leaking pipe
- Install dual flush toilets and use half flush option
- Put a plug on the sink instead of washing razors, dishes or vegetables in running water
- Wash your car using a bucket and on the lawn so you water your grasses at the same time
- Water your garden in the cool of the morning or late evening with a trigger nozzle
- Know your plants water needs and check the weather forecast prior to watering your garden
- Water your garden less often but more thoroughly
- Use a rake or broom to clean paths and the driveway rather than a hose
- Seek alternative options such as using grey water or rainwater for watering your garden
- Visit water efficient sustainable community places, such as Selandra Community Place, to obtain information on water saving initiatives
- Seek information on available Water Rebate Programs for Victorians (available on Council website)
How you can help to improve Casey’s waterways
Improving the quality of your stormwater means improving the quality of Casey’s waterways and creeks
The City of Casey encourages you to help protect Casey’s waterways and creeks.
Everyone has a part to play. Reducing pollution depends on every person preventing harmful substances entering the drains.
Stormwater can collect pollutants such as heavy metals, oil, organic matter and excess nutrients. Excess nutrients such as nitrogen cause algal blooms which lead to reduced oxygen levels in water and can threaten animals, plants and fish living in our waterways.
Melbourne Water manages the regional drainage system and Council is responsible for local drainage. However it is everyone’s responsibility to reduce the amount of pollution that enters the drains. It’s more effective to minimise the problem at source rather than try to clean up downstream.
Types of stormwater pollution
There are four main types of stormwater pollution:
- Litter, such as cigarette butts, cans, paper or plastic bags
- Chemical pollution, such as detergents, oil or fertilisers
- ‘Natural’ pollution, such as leaves, garden clippings or animal droppings
- Sediment pollution, such as soil erosion and runoff from building sites and unsealed roads
What you can do to improve the quality of stormwater
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash facility. Avoid washing your car in your driveway or on the street - the detergent will go straight into the stormwater drain.
- Regularly maintain your vehicle and check for any fluid leaks. Oil and other substances can flow into street drains.
- Manage your litter, and make sure it is secure and won't be blown around. Litter and animal droppings will be carried into the stormwater system next time it rains.
- Cover piles of soil, sand or mulch to stop them washing into drains.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to remove plant debris and soil from your driveway.
- Install a rainwater tank on your property which will reduce the volume of stormwater generated. Information in relation to rainwater tanks is available on Council’s website www.casey.vic.gov.au/water
- Create a residential rain garden. A rain garden is a shallow depression in the ground that captures runoff from your driveway or roof and allows it to soak into the ground. The Melbourne Water website provides excellent information on how to build a residential rain garden. www.raingarden.melbournewater.com.au
- Don’t pour unwanted chemicals down the drain. There are facilities for appropriate disposal of chemicals. Go to www.recyclingnearyou.com.au for more information.
Did you know?
The City of Casey has three stormwater harvesting projects co-funded by the Federal Government. The projects are:
- Project 1: Grices Road Reserve
- Project 2: Edwin Flack Reserve
- Project 3: Sweeney Reserve
The stormwater harvesting and re-use projects at these three sporting grounds will harvest approximately 60 million litres of stormwater which is used for irrigation of Council’s parks and sports fields.
For more information contact the City of Casey’s Environment Department on 9705 5200.