Actions to reduce sediment pollution
Sediment pollution is the number one pressure impacting on South East Queensland waterways. It carries both nutrients and other pollutants, reduces water clarity and quality, and smothers estuarine, marine and freshwater habitats.
Healthy Waterways and Catchments understands improving the condition of our catchments requires an understanding of sediment pollution drivers, and we are working to identify focus areas for action. Working with local and state governments, we have assessed each catchment to identify areas that are vulnerable to generating sediment pollution if not appropriately managed. This information will help unite landholders, community groups, developers and government to undertake targeted, evidence-based action.
Environmental condition, land management and rainfall are key elements influencing the severity of erosion and the amount of sediment pollution entering the waterways. The conceptual diagram to the left represents sediment pollution sources in different rainfall scenarios. By implementing the priority actions identified below for both rural and urban catchments, we can significantly reduce the amount of sediment pollution entering our waterways during all types of rainfall events.
The assessment has highlighted how sediment sources differ in rural and urban areas of the region. In rural catchments, stream bank and gully erosion are the dominant sediment pollution sources contributing to the loss of fertile, agricultural lands and threatening South East Queensland’s water supply. In urban catchments, the two important sediment sources are construction sites and hardened areas such as roads.