The Camden Local Government Area has 26 kilometres of open drainage channels and over 680 kilometres of stormwater pipes that drain into the South Creek and Nepean River catchments.
The rapid transformation of rural land into urban areas with hard surfaces, including dwelling roofs, footpaths, driveways and roads, means less rainwater is absorbed into the ground. During rain events, the increased volume of fast-moving urban runoff (stormwater) collects pollutants such as litter, fertilisers, sediment, dog droppings and leaves, and flows into stormwater drains and eventually our local waterways.
As stormwater is collected separately to sewage and not usually treated before entering waterways, it is important to keep these pollutants out of our stormwater drains.
You can take the pledge to Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution, click here.
Did you know that water that runs off our roads, car parks, footpaths and gardens travels via our stormwater system to our local creeks and waterways?
By working together and pledging to small changes in our everyday lives, we can improve the quality of water that ends up in our beautiful waterways. You can show your support and pledge to make a difference by taking the Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution Pledge, click here.
Carp, including colourful koi carp, are a large invasive freshwater fish that have been introduced to south-eastern Australian waterways and are known for degrading our natural aquatic environment. For more information, please refer to the Carp in Camden’s waterways postcard.
While it might be fun to feed the wildlife at your local reserve or waterway, it can be very damaging to animals’ health and create issues of malnutrition, poor water quality, behavioural problems, and attract pests. Wildlife should be admired and respected from a distance. For more information, please refer to the Feeding the ducks does more harm than good postcard.
Erosion and Sediment Control
Erosion and sediment controls are essential measures that prevent sediment and debris from entering streets, drains and our local waterways.
By containing soil and managing waste and other materials on your building site, you can:
- Help keep our local waterways clean and healthy;
- Reduce site issues caused by wet weather; and
- Save on costs for replacing stockpiles that have been washed or blown away.
For more information, please refer to the Erosion and sediment control postcard.
Council advices against recreational fishing in our lakes and waterways due to poor water quality resulting from the surrounding urban environment and potential for contact with toxic blue-green algae.
If you are fishing in any waterway, it is a requirement to have a current NSW Recreational Fishing Licence. Fishers that capture carp are encouraged to retain and use any captured carp, or to humanely dispose of the carp, rather than return this pest species to the waterway.
Council’s Water Quality Monitoring Program collects physical, chemical, microbiological, and biological data from our waterways to monitor trends over time and identify the suitability of local waterways for recreational uses. The water quality data collected also helps Council prioritise water quality improvement programs.
The Camden Local Government Area has 2 main catchments; Nepean River (including Narellan Creek) and South Creek. Both catchments drain into the Hawkesbury-Nepean River and eventually the ocean, so it is important we prevent litter, sediment and other pollutants from entering our waterways.
Algae is a natural part of the aquatic ecosystem, with most species safe or non-toxic. However, blue-green algae can produce toxins that may be damaging to humans, domestic animals and livestock that come in contact with the water.
In normal conditions, blue-green algae exist in low numbers and are part of a healthy ecosystem. However, under certain conditions, the algae can grow rapidly, producing an algal bloom. Blooms tend to be more common in the warmer months due to high levels of sunlight, low rainfall and high nutrients in waterways.
Council undertakes routine blue-green algae monitoring at a number of local waterbodies, including the Nepean River, over the warmer months and notifies the community if a red alert occurs. Residents and their pets should not come into physical contact with water in waterways signposted with algae warning signs.
To view current alerts, please refer to the blue-green algae alerts map below.
Identifying Blue-Green Algae
There are many species of naturally occurring blue-green algae with some known to be toxin producing. A blue-green algae bloom may be occurring on a waterbody if there are small green, red or brown flecks well-spaced or as a thick scum, with a green cloudiness/colour to the water and musty odour.
It’s also easy to mistake common free-floating plants growing on the water surface for blue-green algae. The 2 most common free-floating plants found in Camden’s lakes are native Duckweed (less than 2 cm long, with or without hair-like roots) and Azolla (fern-like, with roots, changes from green to red when mature). Both plants can act as a food source for birds and aquatic animals and help to prevent algae growth.