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Latrobe Local News:
Stormwater litter traps ready for the next rains

The last of four structural projects to improve the environmental management of Latrobe City’s urban stormwater, and help protect the region’s rivers, lakes and waterways has been commissioned by Latrobe City this week.

By Latrobe City - 4th April 2003 - Back to News

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The last of four structural projects to improve the environmental management of Latrobe City’s urban stormwater, and help protect the region’s rivers, lakes and waterways has been commissioned by Latrobe City this week.

Gross pollutant traps have recently been constructed on outfall drains in urban areas, located in Old Sale Road, Moe; Keegan Street, Morwell; Wright Street, Traralgon; with the final structure in the program, completed at the McDonald Way and Phillip Parade intersection in Churchill, at the entrance to new wetlands being constructed.

The gross pollutant traps capture litter and sediment washed through gutters and stormwater drains preventing it from entering waterways. They have been constructed as part of Council’s Stormwater Management Plan funded through a State Government ‘Victorian Stormwater Action Program’ grant of $246,000 being matched equally by the City.

Latrobe City Mayor and Chair of the Litter Prevention Taskforce, Councillor Graeme Middlemiss, said the commissioning of the four new litter traps would help prevent urban litter reaching creeks and rivers.

"The water that runs off your roof and driveway are the beginning of the stormwater system, and this together with water running off footpaths and roads, feeds into a network of usually hidden underground pipes and drains," Cr Middlemiss explained.

"After rain, anything that’s in the path of the water, such as plastic bags, cigarette butts or drink cans, simply gets flushed through these drains into our waterways unless it can be diverted and trapped. The new gross pollutant traps, together with others that Latrobe City has installed in urban areas over the past few years, prevents a great deal of this rubbish from ever leaving the urban area and entering creeks and rivers," Cr Middlemiss said.

Manager Environmental Strategy, Kevin Roberts, said that trapping litter from urban run-off was an important factor in helping protect waterways. "However, besides the litter, a great deal of silt and sediment together with chemical pollution caused by detergents, oil and fertilisers, enters the stormwater system. Chemical stormwater pollution can kill plants and animals that live in the water, while sediments often have high levels of nutrients attached, which adds to the total nutrient load in our lakes and waterways, furthering algal blooms," Mr Roberts said.

Mr Roberts said everyone in the community had a part to play in reducing the amount of rubbish and pollution that is carried into stormwater drains. "Firstly we can prevent litter ever entering gutters and drains by ensuring we don’t litter in the first place, and secondly we can take care to ensure surplus chemicals are disposed of responsibly, not simply tipped down a drain. It is far more effective to stop the problem at its source, than try and treat the result," he said.

Cr Middlemiss, said the commissioning of the litter traps was one of numerous strategies identified in the Stormwater Management Plan, ranging from site specific treatment measure such as the gross pollutant traps; to strategies that addressed wider catchment issues, such as the creation of wetlands and educational activities.

"Community awareness of stormwater issues is also being undertaken through advertising and promotion, and a primary school education and activity program specific to stormwater management issues," Cr Middlemiss said.

Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: news@gippsland.com



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