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Coogee beach Coogee beach

Beach pollution ends here

Beach Pollution Ends Here
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When it rains, what's on the street goes down the drainLet's take a journey down the drain Scroll down to start the drain journey

Scroll down to start the drain journey
Scroll down to start the drain journey
Litter
Litter

Plastics, paper, cans and cigarette butts often end up in stormwater. Council's pollutant traps capture many larger items, but not pathogens, chemicals, microplastics and particles such as tyre abrasion and road wear.

Chemicals
Chemicals

Stormwater often contains a toxic mix of chemicals from urban areas including vehicle exhaust particles, oils, detergents and fertilisers. These micro items and chemicals cannot be filtered and discharge at local beaches.

Paint
Paint

Washing paint brushes and buckets in drains connected to the stormwater system is a significant visual polluter of local beaches often resulting in milky sediment visible in the water.

Dog poo
Dog poo

Uncollected dog poo from parks, footpaths and streets is washed into the stormwater system during heavy rain. It contains bacteria and is high in nitrogen and phosphorus which negatively affects water quality at our beaches.

Organic material
Organic material

A significant pollutant of stormwater is organic material such as soil, sediment, leaves and garden clippings. Large quantities of decaying organic matter in water can take oxygen away from the water which can affect plants, fish and other animals. The pollutants captured by Council's gross pollutant traps are about 70% organic and soil matter.

Sewage overflow
Sewage overflow

Sydney's sewerage system is designed to overflow when there are high volumes or blockages caused by tree roots or debris to prevent raw sewage from backing up into homes. The sewage overflows into Council's stormwater system which then discharges at local beaches creating a health hazard.

Litter

Plastics, paper, cans and cigarette butts often end up in stormwater. Council's pollutant traps capture many larger items, but not pathogens, chemicals, microplastics and particles such as tyre abrasion and road wear.

Scroll to next pollutant
chemicals

Stormwater often contains a toxic mix of chemicals from urban areas including vehicle exhaust particles, oils, detergents and fertilisers. These micro items and chemicals cannot be filtered and discharge at local beaches.

paint

Washing paint brushes and buckets in drains connected to the stormwater system is a significant visual polluter of local beaches often resulting in milky sediment visible in the water.

Dog poo

Uncollected dog poo from parks, footpaths and streets is washed into the stormwater system during heavy rain. It contains bacteria and is high in nitrogen and phosphorus which negatively affects water quality at our beaches.

Organic material

A significant pollutant of stormwater is organic material such as soil, sediment, leaves and garden clippings. Large quantities of decaying organic matter in water can take oxygen away from the water which can affect plants, fish and other animals. The pollutants captured by Council's gross pollutant traps are about 70% organic and soil matter.

Sewage overflow

Sydney's sewerage system is designed to overflow when there are high volumes or blockages caused by tree roots or debris to prevent raw sewage from backing up into homes. The sewage overflows into Council's stormwater system which then discharges at local beaches creating a health hazard.

The stormwater
system explained
235km
stormwater pipes
Randwick City's network of 235km of stormwater pipes can move a staggering 2,800,000,000 litres of stormwater every hour. That's the equivalent of 1,120 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
9,540
stormwater drains
Every street in Randwick City has stormwater drains. These drains help prevent flooding by quickly moving stormwater away from homes and businesses.
237
Drain outlets
Unlike a sewerage system, stormwater cannot be mass treated due to the very high volume of water. Drain outlets allow water to enter the stormwater system which then flows to the lowest point. In Randwick City that's typically our beaches and coast!
35
Pollutant traps
Randwick City Council manages 35 gross pollutant traps (or GPTs) that help filter stormwater and prevent some pollutants from entering our beaches.
300
Tonnes of pollutants removed
Council's 35 Gross Pollutant Traps prevent about 300 tonnes of pollutants from entering our beaches every year. More than 80% of the pollutants such as plastics, soil and organics are recycled.
How you can make a
difference

Beach pollution starts at the drain, but it can end with you.
Everybody is responsible for keeping our beaches clean.

At home
At home
  • Bin your cigarette butts
  • Pick up your dog's poo
  • Sweep up leaves, clippings and soil
  • Wash your car on the grass
  • Drop off old paint tins to the Randwick Recycling Centre
At work
At work
  • Use a broom rather than hose
  • Use non-toxic cleaning products
  • Keep bin lids secure
  • Provide ashtrays and bins
  • Clean up water-based paint over soil
At school
At school
  • Put rubbish in the bin
  • Install rain water tanks
  • Plant more gardens
  • Stencil drains eg. 'Drains are for rain'
  • Run a stormwater education workshop
Adopt a drain

There are 9,540 stormwater drains in Randwick City. Each one pollutes our beaches.

You can find out more about where drains on your street go and adopt one!

Adopting a drain is a fun and symbolic way of taking action against beach pollution.

It's free and easy and you can download a certificate of adoption!

Don't worry – you won't be responsible for cleaning the drain - it's just symbolic.

We'll publish a map of all adopted drains in the future.

Explore drains near you
Birds eye beach
Select a drain
Please select a drain
You have chosen to adopt:
drain #2323123123

Your drain is a junction pit.

This means it's taking up to 13,000 litres of water per hour.

drain

Make a stand against beach pollution by symbolically adopting a drain. Fill out the following form and you can download a certificate of adoption and share it on social media.

Please enter your name

Please enter your suburb

Please enter a drain name
Please enter another drain name without profanity

Please enter an email address

Take the pledge

Beach pollution starts at the drain, but it can end with you. What are you going to do to reduce beach pollution? Tick all the boxes that are relevant to you.

At Home
At Work
At School

Please note this form is protected with reCaptcha.

We are preparing your certificate of adoption...
drain

Certificate of adoption

Beach pollution ends here

This certifies that _________ of _________ has on  _________  adopted a stormwater drain in Randwick City.

Name:
Drain ID:
Location:
Constructed In:
outflow

Flows to:

As custodian of  _________ aka __________________ is committing to take action to reduce stormwater pollution and increase water quality at out beaches.

Beach pollution starts at the drain, but we can all take steps to end it.

Learn more about
what council is doing

Randwick Council is working hard to protect our beautiful beaches and oceans. We are part of the solution to ending beach pollution. Here's what we're doing:

Pollutant Traps

Our 35 gross pollutant traps (GPTs) remove about 300 tonnes of pollution from entering our beaches and ocean every year. About 80% of this waste is recycled.

Water Recycling

About 450 million litres of stormwater is captured, filtered and used for watering parks and reserves every year. This process prevents polluted water entering our beaches, and saves Council about $1M in water costs.

Cleaning Beaches and Streets

Our beaches are groomed daily with 200 tonnes of rubbish and seaweed removed every year. Sweeper trucks clean streets picking up about 1,000 tonnes of rubbish a year which reduces pollution entering our beaches.