- Excessive water use and water disposal will cause nutrient enrichment of streams and decrease the quality of surface and groundwater and adjacent waters of the reef lagoon. Although pollution is not high overall, it can have considerable localised impact, especially in more heavily populated areas.
A main offender is human excrement – here are some common issues and tips to counter them:
- If you have a septic system, make sure it has been sludged in the past 3-5 years.
- The biggest killer of septic systems north of the river is tree-roots invading the trenches. Check yours by turning on all the taps and flushing all the toilets in the house at the same time - if the water is slow to go down you probably have a problem. If you get to it early.
- If you have a septic tank it is recommended you get a soil and site assessment (unless this has already been done) to ensure it isn’t contaminating your creek, or yours or your neighbour’s bore water (note: you will be required by law to upgrade it if it doesn’t meet standards). Your plumber may be able to flush the system with Rootox, which will encourage the roots out of the trench. Otherwise you will need to get it replaced.
- None of the available toilet options can cope with bleaches and harsh chemicals – they can destroy the bacteria that make the system function and harm the environment. Try to avoid use of bleaches and products with phosphates in particular.
- If you have a composting toilet, ensure the compost dries out completely before putting it in the environment – it will is a serious health and environmental risk.
Don’t lay compost close to a waterway or bury it where there is low groundwater.