Most larger towns within the catchment of the Gippsland Lakes have stormwater drainage systems. Stormwater from all hard surfaces (roads, pavements and roofs) flows untreated into wetlands, rivers, or the Gippsland Lakes. Wetlands need water to sustain their ecosystems and stormwater has benefits for the fringing wetlands of the Lakes. However, stormwater contains materials which have the potential to cause damage.
Specific problems for the Gippsland Lakes include the introduction of:
These all have the potential to affect water quality and damage bird and fish habitats.
Government bodies, local Councils and businesses can assist in improving stormwater run-off by:
- Community education on the effects of stormwater
- Stormwater infrastructure improvements
- Litter grates and sediment traps on stormwater inlets
- Constructed wetlands to assist in treating stormwater.
At home, you can help by:
- Planting native gardens to assist in retaining run-off
- Avoiding or reducing the use of chemicals and fertilisers
- Avoiding the disposal of potentially toxic substances into the stormwater system