Impact of sediment run-off on our rivers

Flow-on effect: Sediment from building sites runs down gutters into stormwater pipes and on to the Georges River and Cooks River. Picture: Chris Lane
Flow-on effect: Sediment from building sites runs down gutters into stormwater pipes and on to the Georges River and Cooks River. Picture: Chris Lane

Re the article ‘‘Rivers impacted by run-off: many building Sites fail inspection’’ (Leader, February 7).

It’s not the bull sharks in the river that scare me it’s the pollution from the humans on the shoreline that terrifies me.

It’s great that Bayside Council signed up to the inspections of building sites but why isn’t this a permanent role for a council officer. 

With constructions sites on every street in the St George area we need both councils inspecting building sites on a regular basis. 

We have 7000 tonnes of silt ending up in our river and 69 tonnes of rubbish being removed out of the river in the last 6 months. 

How much more evidence do we need to have to know that we are trashing the Georges River. 

If we keep up this level of visible and invisible pollution into our waterways playing in the Georges River will be a distant memory for my two-year-old. As a community we can all help picking up the litter but we need our council’s to come to the party and thoroughly monitor the building sites. 

The health of our river shouldn’t be judged on how many bull sharks are being caught but by how much pollution my children are collecting on the shorelines. 

Melissa Derwent, Oatley

Thank you for bringing attention to the impact sediment run-off has on our rivers (“Rivers impacted by run-off”, Leader, February 2).

And it’s not just sediment. During rainfall, everything on our streets is swept downhill and into the rivers, then to the bay via stormwater drains. Our rivers start at the places where we live, work and play - at your place.

I can think of at least 10 other ways we can all help to rescue the Cooks River, the Georges River and Botany Bay:

  1. Get to know your local river
  2. Plant native plants
  3. Pick up rubbish where you see it
  4. Sweep up leaf litter out of the gutter
  5. Pick up after pets
  6. Build a raingarden
  7. Wash your car on the lawn
  8. Harvest rainwater
  9. Get involved in local action
  10. Share your actions with others

More details at cooksriver.org.au.

Sue Burton, Cooks River Alliance