River Aware

Join us for our River Aware Launch!

We’re launching the ‘River Aware’ neighbourhood campaign this Saturday, 27 July 2019 from 10.30am – 12.30pm at Tom Murphy Reserve, cnr Hilly and Edwins Sts, Mortlake.

We want you to let us know what types of things you do on your street to help protect our waterways.

Join us for kids’ activities and a free Wolfpack coffee for anyone who takes part in our survey.

If you can’t make the launch you can still have your say by clicking on the link below:

Take part in the River Aware Online Survey.


What is River Aware?

A living river reflects a healthy community and benefits our well-being and lifestyle. We all have a role to play in protecting our waterways. There are five simple habits we can adopt to  help make our environment clean and safe for everyone to enjoy:

1. Cover Yourself

Keep garden materials away from wind and rain.

• Sweep up or blow leaves and dirt from  driveways back onto the garden beds or place in the bin

• Use a catcher when you mow

• Cover piles of dirt or mulch which could blow or wash away.



2. Leave only paw prints

Picking up pet waste stops nasties washing away.

Carry pet waste bags when walking the dog or use bag dispensers at local parks

Place bagged pet waste into the bin.




3. Come Clean

Wipes, tissues, nappies and hygiene waste all belong in the bin.

Place a bin in the bathroom at home or use sanitary bins when out

Never flush wet or ‘flushable’ wipes.





4. Do it on your lawn

Washing a car this way will keep fine particles and soap out of the river.

Find a patch of grass to wash your car

Use a commercial carwash.





5. Keep It Clear

The drain is for just for water – chemicals, oils and paints don’t belong here.

Store chemicals in closed, labelled containers

Drop off old or unused chemicals to Community Waste Recycling Centres.




What is catchment?

Rivers are naturally flowing waterways which are ours to be enjoyed. The house and street where you live is in a river catchment – an area
of land where water collects when it rains. Even if you can’t see them, rivers are extensions of our neighbourhoods.

What is stormwater?

Every drop of rain that falls on our streets ends up in a gutter or drain as stormwater. It runs through a series of pipes underground and ultimately flows into the rivers.

What is sewage?

Water that goes down the drain or toilet is called sewage. This water is taken to a wastewater treatment plant and does not go directly to the river system. However, if the pipes that carry this water become blocked they can cause an overflow of sewage into our rivers.

What sort of things pollute the river?

  • Fertilisers and chemicals
  • Pet waste
  • Detergents, oils and paints
  • Fine particles you can’t always see, like dusts and microplastics
  • Garden waste like grass, mulch and soil
  • Rubbish and litter
  • Untreated sewage overflow when there are blocked pipes.

What happens when a river is polluted?

Water that is polluted can look and smell bad. It can be unsafe for people to swim or go near and can harm the things that live in the river.