Skip to main content
Rivers, creeks and waterways

In an urban landscape like Canterbury-Bankstown, water is critical to quality of life. 

Without adequate water, vegetation and trees cannot grow, street and parks are too hot in summer and native animals cannot thrive.

A catchment is the area of land that drains into a waterway. Gravity causes all rain and run-off in the catchment to run downhill where it naturally collects in creeks, rivers or oceans. In natural areas rainwater is absorbed into the landscape by plants, trees and soil, filling the groundwater system (underground water). In an urban river catchment such as our City, most surfaces are hard and impermeable. Rainwater runs off roofs, roads and footpaths becoming stormwater which picks up pollution and debris along the way.

Our City is part of three main catchment areas with water flowing into the Cooks, Georges and Parramatta rivers. These rivers are fed by smaller tributaries, including:

  • Prospect creek (Lansdowne);
  • Duck River (Sefton);
  • Saltpan Creek (Padstow);
  • Little Saltpan Creek (Revesby);
  • Cup and Saucer Creek (Clemton Park); and 
  • Wolli Creek (Earlwood). 

Council conducts environmental improvement works and programs at many sites within our catchment to improve river and catchment health. This includes stormwater management projects, the installation of various pollution control devices and water sensitive urban design. It also includes programs like the Get the Site Right compliance campaign targeting sediment and erosion control on building and development sites.

Council also works closely with other councils on catchment management through its active membership in the Cooks River Alliance, Georges Riverkeeper and Parramatta River Catchment Group. Council is currently working with these groups on the development of the following catchment management programs:

The City of Canterbury Bankstown has more than 75 Pollution Control Devices (PCDs) which allow us to protect our local waterways. Each device is effective for different types of pollutants and all devices are cleaned and maintained on a needs basis for optimum efficiency. We also have an Officer that investigates and coordinates the response to urgent pollution incidents such as oil and chemical spills.

  • Boom 
    A floating barrier angled across the water course, which is designed to collect litter and retain oil.
  • Trash Rack 
    A type of barrier used to trap litter and organic matter. The litter that is trapped can be large or small including everything from syringes to tyres.
  • Macrophyte Bed 
    Beds of aquatic plants used to promote the removal of nutrients from stormwater by exploiting plants' natural uptake of important nutrients which are necessary for plant growth.
  • Gross Pollutant Trap (GPT) 
    There are many different types, but they all provide a filter for stormwater as they collect litter, oil, organic matter and sediment.
  • Artificial Wetland 
    We have constructed artificial wetlands in our local area as a means of pollution control, designed to have a series of different depths to encourage aquatic plants to occupy shallow areas and allow sediments to settle out of suspension in deeper waters.
  • Lake 
    Lakes can also be considered a pollution control device of sorts as they retain and filter sediments and nutrients from stormwater. Unfortunately, this function also produces ideal conditions for weed growth and algal blooms.
  • Sediment/Pollution Control Pond 
    Artificial water bodies that are used to contain pollution before it enters our rivers or the more sensitive areas of our waterways.
  • Oil & Grit Separator 
    A barrier above the water surface that is operational during normal stormwater flow.

Canterbury-Bankstown has partnered with Sydney Water to reduce floating litter on the Cooks River. Three litter boom and traps have been installed at Croydon Park, Boat Harbour in Hurlstone Park and another at Fifth Avenue, Campsie. The traps capture floating litter, which is directed into the trap by the boom and assisted by the outgoing tide.

Boom & Trap

The litter boom and trap have been installed to capture floating litter, which has been blown or washed  from discarded rubbish from our streets and riverside parks. The boom has a floating trap, which provides ease of access for maintenance and regular cleaning. The boom is made of polyethylene, have submerged skirts protruding into the water that deflect floating debris into the collection chamber with the outgoing tide. The one way gate at the opening of the collection prevents the escape of trapped debris. The trap is inspected and serviced weekly to remove the litter.

The booms can capture as much 15 - 18 cubic meters of litter per week. In one year the Boat Harbour boom has removed 435 cubic meters of litter from the Cooks River.  This is equal to 1,812 large wheelie bins.  On average 85% is leaf litter and the remaining 15% is plastics and other rubbish.

The litter booms are emptied on a weekly basis and takes approximately 3 hours to empty. If you notice anything that may be broken or jammed in the traps please let council know on 9707 9000 or email: council@cbcity.nsw.gov.au.

Please help to keep the Cooks River clean by taking your rubbish home with you or putting it in the bin.

Benefits of the Project

  • Meet community expectations of a litter free Cooks River
  • Improve visual amenity
  • Improve habitat for wildlife
  • Improve water quality here, downstream and in Botany Bay
  • Partnership with Sydney Water for ongoing maintenance

This is an initiative of City of Canterbury Bankstown and Sydney Water.

Contact

For more information, contact our Customer Service Centre on 9707 9000

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is water management that seeks to replicate the natural water cycle in urban areas. WSUD can:

  • Protect our waterways by capturing, treating and productively using rainwater and stormwater before it enters our rivers.
  • Prevent or reduce flooding in targeted locations.
  • Reduce run off volume. The high amount of hard surfaces in cities mean that water cannot infiltrate the ground and enters creeks at a high rate causing erosion of creek beds.
  • Reduce potable water use. Minimising the use of drinking water for things other than drinking through water efficient fixtures, rainwater tanks and enabling water reuse (rainwater, stormwater and greywater).
  • Provide wildlife habitat.
  • Create public open space, recreational opportunities and visual amenity that enhance and improve the look and feel of urban areas.

Examples of WSUD include rainwater tanks, porous pavements, raingardens, green roofs, bioretention systems, swales, constructed wetlands and stormwater harvesting systems. Many of these elements can be found across our City.

River health

Council conducts environmental improvement works and programs at many sites within our catchment to improve river and catchment health. This includes stormwater management projects, the installation of various pollution control devices and water sensitive urban design. It also includes programs like the Get the Site Right compliance campaign targeting sediment and erosion control on building and development sites.

Council also works closely with other councils on river health and catchment management through its active membership in the Cooks River Alliance, Georges Riverkeeper and Parramatta River Catchment Group. Learn more below about how we are working to monitor and improve river health through these organisations.

The Cooks River Alliance has been monitoring ecological health since 2011. Annual Ecological Health Report Cards were published between 2014 - 2017 measuring water quality, macroinvertebrates, benthic diatoms, riparian vegetation and creek channel condition.

At the Cooks River Catchment Congress 2020, the Alliance gathered stakeholders and experts from the University of Maryland to develop a Waterway Health Report Card tailored specifically to the Cooks River that showcases its many environmental, social and economic values. The first report card is due to be published in 2021. Learn more here.

Georges Riverkeeper's River Health Monitoring Program collects environmental data to guide waterway management and inform the community about the condition of waterways across the catchment. The Program applies scientifically rigorous methods to the assessment of freshwater tributaries and estuarine sections of the Georges River.

Complex data is simplified into grades, such as those reported in the State of the Georges River 2020 Report and River Health Report Cards, found in Georges Riverkeeper's Resource Library, to facilitate a shared understanding of the condition of waterways.

The plan to make the Parramatta River swimmable again is based on scientific studies of water quality, ecological health, swim site activation, waterway governance, and community consultation, to ensure evidence based actions and targets that can be realistically achieved by 2025. Learn more about this background research here that informed the development of the Parramatta River Masterplan.

Clean waterways
Our City has many rivers and open water bodies which require careful maintenance and monitoring. We work together with other organisations, local environmental groups and our community to help keep these waterways clean.
 
This dashboard provides up to date information on the cleaning of our Water Quality Devices and open water bodies, such as Lake Gilawarna and Maluga Passive Park.
 
Water Quality Devices are a range of different things we build to keep our waterways clean including gross pollution devices and trash racks. These can be floating litter booms, or trash racks across open stormwater drains, but most of them are hidden underground and are directly connected to underground stormwater drains.
 
Hover your cursor over the points on the map to see when the last clean occurred. The dashboard lets you know how much material is collected from our many unseen Gross Pollutant Traps and Trash Racks.