Stormwater quality

Stormwater quality

Water runoff from urban areas, including roofs, roads and footpaths makes its way through the stormwater drainage system and finds its way into the Derwent Estuary. Unfortunately, this runoff often carries litter and sediment from human activity. 

To prevent litter and sediment from entering the Derwent Estuary, the City of Hobart has many devices in various locations within the stormwater drainage system. The devices stop litter, sediment and other gross pollutants at the entry point or at the end of the line of a stormwater system. 

These devices include: 

  • litter socks – located at McRobies Gully outlet into Hobart Rivulet
  • floating litter traps – located on the Hobart Rivulet at Macquarie Point and the Sandy Bay Rivulet at Quayle Street 
  • small litter traps in stormwater pits – located in stormwater grates around shopping precincts
  • sediment weirs – located on Hobart Rivulet near Barrack Street and New Town Rivulet in New Town Bay
  • in-line/in-pipe gross pollutant traps – located at Long Beach, below Waterworks Road, and on Maypole Rivulet near Ogilvie High School
  • rain gardens and bioretention basins – located in Bell Street, Lefroy Street carpark, and the Garrington Park subdivision.

In addition to these devices, the City of Hobart carries out street cleaning using large sweeper trucks, small mobile footpath sweepers, other mechanical sweeping and sweeping by hand.

A reduction in litter pollution throughout our stormwater systems and waterways ensures a healthier and cleaner estuarine environment for marine life in the Derwent Estuary, as well as the freshwater ecosystems in the waterways themselves. The community also benefits as they help make the surrounding areas much tidier and more attractive.

Stormwater drains are for stormwater only. Washing of liquids or other products into the stormwater can cause serious environmental harm to plants and wildlife in the waterways themselves, as well as those inhabiting the Derwent Estuary, where all of our stormwater eventually leads. Contaminated stormwater can also impact the water quality of swimming beaches and other recreational waters. Where possible washing anything into the stormwater system should be avoided.

You can view the up-to-date water quality test results for beaches within the Derwent Estuary on the Derwent Estuary Program Beach Watch webpage.

Remember - all drains lead to the sea

For more information or if you have any queries regarding gross pollutant traps and the City’s stormwater systems and rivulets please phone 03 6238 2711 or email