Kingborough has many beautiful rivers, creeks and wetlands. The three largest river systems are; Browns, North West Bay and Snug River. Most of our waterways are creeks and rivulets, of which there are many, with many of those flowing only during the wet autumn and winter months.
Freshwater ecosystems provide important environmental services; they clean water, recycle nutrients, reduce floods, recharge ground water and provide habitat for native plants and animals.
Our freshwater areas are sensitive to threats; pollution, sedimentation, introduced plants and animals and over-harvesting of water. These threats can lead not only to loss of habitat and native wildlife, but a reduction in the services the river, creek or wetland is able to provide.
Stormwater is the water that runs off pavements, roads, roofs, gardens, parks, car parks, construction sites etc during rainfall. As stormwater water flows, it collects pollutants that are on these surfaces and washes them into our rivulets and stormwater systems.
When people put unwanted liquids, wastes and materials etc down the drain or on the roads, which can end up in our stormwater systems and then our beaches and waterways. This is an issue for not only humans, but also for aquatic animals. Animals can also detrimentally suffer from the result of people’s actions.
Examples of items that SHOULD NOT end up in the stormwater system include:
- litter of any kind
- dog poo
- cigarette butts
- detergents and chemicals
- soapy water from washing cars
- grass clippings and vegetation
- soil erosion from development sites
Our staff investigate any reported problems with the stormwater system, including water sampling and physically removing items that we can. We also take water samples from our beaches throughout the summer months and swimming pools all year round, to monitor water quality for public safety. Any concerns raised from these samples are published on Council’s social media networks.
We also have officers on the Derwent Estuary Program (DEP) Stormwater Task Force, which representatives from Hobart’s regional councils, community groups and the Department of Environment (DPIWE).
The main objectives are to:
- Implement a coordinated stormwater monitoring program
- Prioritise stormwater management areas in the region
- Develop a ‘model’ Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) for councils to use as a template
- Share experience in stormwater management
- Assist in grant proposals for management initiatives
- Review stormwater management initiatives
Kingston Stormwater Wetlands
Many people from the Hobart region swim in the mouth of Browns River at Kingston Beach. We have been monitoring the site since 1994, which has shown high, and potentially harmful, bacterial levels.
The monitoring has shown that Kingston Rivulet (a highly modified drainage and stormwater channel running through the Kingston township) and Whitewater Creek were the key sources of faecal contamination to Browns River.
The Kingston Stormwater Wetlands are located near where Whitewater Creek and Browns River intersect, within the urban area of Kingston. The wetlands site is now being used for the collection and treatment of stormwater runoff from Kingston Rivulet and a first flush portion of Whitewater Creek. This has reduced a significant source of faecal contamination entering Browns River near its mouth at Kingston Beach and resulted in the evolution of a site that is a key community educational, aesthetic and recreational asset.