#LoveLBG THIS SUMMER

Media Release

2 December 2014

Lake Burley Griffin ambassadors today launched an education strategy to explain the simple ways the community can help improve water quality in Canberraís streams, wetlands and lakes.

The strategy, developed by the National Capital Authority (NCA), encourages social media users to share tips on protecting Canberraís waterways using the hashtag #LoveLBG. Posters, flyers and stickers have been developed with the message, ëCanberraís Drains are Just for the Rainí.

Chair of Water Science, Institute of Applied Ecology Professor Ross Thompson said all Canberrans can help improve water quality.

ëCanberraís stormwater drains carry water to an extensive network of streams, wetlands, ponds and lakes. These provide habitat for fish, frogs and birds while improving the liveability of the city,í he said.

ëPolluting our stormwater contributes to water quality issues in our lakes. We all need to take responsibility for looking after our waterways. Thinking about what goes down our drains is a critical first step.í

Some of the tips to improve water quality include:

  • Wash your car on the grass. Do not let the soap enter the drains, or use a water-recycling car wash facility. Phosphates from detergents encourage algal growth.
  • Do not flush chemicals or paint into stormwater drains. This means fresher water for fish, birds, frogs and for everyone else.
  • Prevent leaves and grass clippings from washing down the drain. Use smaller amounts of fertilisers and garden chemicals.
  • Put rubbish in bins, paper and plastics in the recycling and do not throw cigarette butts in the gutter. This helps to keep streams and beaches clean.
  • Clean up after your dog. Animal waste promotes harmful bacteria in the water.
  • Compost garden waste and use it to improve garden soil. Green waste when released into the waterways results in algal blooms.
  • Clearing gutters and raking up garden waste to prevent them being washed down the drains

NCA Chief Executive, Malcolm Snow said these small but effective measures will help reduce the levels of nutrients in catchment areas and help improve the water quality of Lake Burley Griffin.

ëLake Burley Griffin is the centerpiece of Canberra and a much loved recreational space for the community and visitors. We can all prevent pollutants and organic debris entering the storm water system to make the lake even more enjoyable,í he said.

ëThe NCA continues to research options for improving water quality in Lake Burley Griffin. Following a successful trial in 2012, the NCA has planted over 8700 aquatic macrophytes.

ëMacrophytes act as filters and can help trap sediments, pollutants and organic material and prevent these from entering the water. They improve oxygen levels and reduce the levels of phosphorus and nitrogen in the water, which helps to decrease blue green algae blooms.

Information packs containing a poster, flyers and stickers were distributed to Lake User Group members today.