Skip to main content


Home > Our region and environment > Water > Freshwater Futures > Help care for freshwater

Help care for freshwater

At home or in the garden

  • Make sure your septic tank is in good working order
  • Don't pour pollutants or wash paint brushes into storm water drains
  • Wash your car on grass so pollutants don't go into storm water drains
  • Plant native trees and shrubs to help attract birds, stabilise and shade stream banks and trap run-off
  • Take rubbish, including green waste, to the landfill not the estuary, and recycle wherever possible. See our Waste and Recycling Directory to find out where you can safely dispose of paint, chemicals or other waste items.
  • Join a local care group to help with an environmental restoration project near you.

Out & about

  • Take your rubbish home - even better, pick up and dispose of other people's rubbish
  • Follow the Water Care Code when enjoying the outdoors
  • Check, clean and dry your boating, tramping, fishing, bike or watersports gear between waterways to stop the spread of freshwater pests

On your farm or lifestyle block

  • Ask Regional Council for funding and advice to help you better care for your soil and waterways
  • Fence streams and waterways to keep stock off stream banks and out of the water (a reticulated stock water supply provides better environmental care)
  • Plant along streams and waterways (ideally in locally sourced native plants)
  • Avoid overgrazing steep slopes and pasture near waterways
  • Catch and control stock effluent
  • Avoid spraying chemicals near waterways
  • Apply fertiliser sparingly and with care, especially near waterways
  • Run a nutrient budget to avoid overuse of fertiliser
  • Make your drains and waterways more fish friendly with a few simple modifications - we can help
  • Minimise use of tracks that may damage riparian or wetland areas

Contact a Land Management Officer on 0800 884 880 for further advice and funding assistance.

At work

  • Find out where washwater, spills and waste from your workplace ends up if it flows into a drain.
  • Capture run-off by installing wash baths, gully traps, containment bunds, purpose built wash-down pads or other systems to capture potential pollutants before they go down the drain. Your local council can help you identify what systems your business needs.
  • Check that storage areas are protected from weather and leakage. Make sure your spill kit & response plan is always ready to go.
  • Consider using a mobile washing or suction truck operator to manage contaminated wash water. Make sure they’ll be taking the waste they collect to an approved disposal facility.
  • Check out our Waste and Recycling Directory to find out where you can safely dispose of paint, chemicals or other industrial waste.