Runoff from urban areas flows into the stormwater system and into our creeks and waterways. If it is contaminated with pollutants it can harm fish and other aquatic organisims, make the water unsuitable for swimming, boating and other recreational activities, and destroy the visual amenity of our waterways.
Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 it is an offence to pollute any waters. ‘Pollution’ includes introducing anything (eg. dirt, litter, wash water, oil, detergent, paint, etc.) into water. It also includes placing anything where it could be washed, blown or fall into any drain, gutter or waterway.
Offenders are liable to maximum penalties of up to $250,000 for individuals and $1,000,000 for corporations. On-the-spot fines can also be issued for minor offences.