Water Quality

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Report Water Pollution

We rely on your help to protect our waterways. Once a substance other than rain enters the stormwater drainage system, this causes water pollution and in turn harms our local waterways.

Water pollution can be any of the following substances entering a water way, such as a road gutter, stormwater system or a creek:

  • Chemical spill (such as pesticides or other substances);
  • Fuel (petrol/diesel);
  • Oil;
  • Paint;
  • Litter;
  • Hard waste (such as soil etc).

Under Section 120 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, 1997 a person who pollutes any waters is guilty of an offence and is liable for prosecution.


Contact Guide

Please use the following information as a guide as to who should be contacted in the event of a water pollution incident:

  • Pollution in stormwater drains, creeks or waterways contact The Hills Shire Council on 02 9843 0555.
  • Sewage overflow from a mains sewer line or manhole (urban areas of The Hills Shire) contact Sydney Water on 13 20 90.
  • Sewage overflow from an on-site sewage management system (rural areas of The Hills Shire) into a dam/creek or waterway contact The Hills Shire Council on 02 9843 0555.
  • Sewage overflow from sewerage lines within Gables contact Flow Systems on 1300 803 803.
  • Pollution from an environment protection licensed premises (eg. Sewage Treatment Plant) contact the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) on 131 555.


Is it pollution or iron fixing (oxidising) bacteria?

Sometimes you might notice that there is slime on the water in your local creek/waterway which is a copper/brown colour. In some instances it may be iron fixing bacteria which is naturally occurring.

You can use one of the following methods to determine if it is iron fixing bacteria or a likely a pollution incident:

1. Surface test: Using a stick, poke the water, if the surface shatters like ice, it is likely iron fixing bacteria – if it clings to your stick and joins back together, it is likely oil from a pollution incident.

2. Smell test: If the water smells like organic matter that is decaying it is likely iron fixing bacteria. If the water smells like petrol, sewage or has a chemical smell it is likely from a pollution incident.


If you are in doubt, please log a request with Council and Council Officers can investigate further:

Please report all water pollution incidents, whether deliberate or accidental, to Council by phoning 02 9843 0555 immediately.

You can also report a water pollution using Council's Online Reporting Form.