Environment - Catchments

Catchment, Creeks and Wetlands

Catchments are the area of land from which rainwater drains into a common point such as a reservoir, pond, lake, river or creek.

The water may drain or flow from the surface of the land (surface run-off) or from water that flows between soil and rock beneath the earth’s surface (groundwater). In urban areas such as Fairfield, the majority of the rainwater is collected by gutters and pipes and then flows through stormwater drains into the stormwater system.

Creeks in the City flow into the Georges River and Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchments along a length of 80km in eight major creek lines. Creek corridors are comprised of the native vegetation that grows from the water’s edge on to the land and are important for native animals.

Wetlands are an area of land where the soil is very wet and the land is permanently or seasonally covered by water. Wetland habitat is part land, part water. Wetlands support a range of vegetation particular to wetlands and provide food and shelter to many kinds of wildlife. They also help in improving water quality by acting like a stormwater “filter”.

The impact of development in the past 50 years has resulted in severe degradation of the natural habitat and water quality in these creeks and wetlands that feed into the City's three catchments:

The Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment to the west fed by the South Creek Sub-Catchment consisting of South Creek, Eastern Creek and Ropes Creek and the Georges River Catchment to the south and east fed by the sub-catchments of Prospect Creek and Cabramatta Creek.

Since 2011 the Georges River Combined Councils Committee (GRCCC) has embarked on the development of the Coastal Zone Management Plan (GRCZMP) for the Georges River.

Council’s Creek Care Program encompasses creek cleaning, re-vegetation, weed control and bush regeneration of more than 60 different sites across the City, including along our riparian corridors and wetlands, parks and reserves. More than 100 tonnes of litter is removed every year from the suite of stormwater quality improvement devices located throughout the City. The program involves professional bush regenerators, community group volunteers, school students, and Council staff.

The long-term aims of the Creek Care Program are to create a beautiful creek environment that the community enjoys, healthy and well maintained creeks to improve the liveability of the City, to protect and promote local biodiversity and ecosystems through restoration work to create corridors of "green and blue" for wildlife connections, and to balance re-vegetation with flooding and water quality.

A program has been developed with three phases of restoration: primary (large, woody weeds), secondary (smaller herbaceous weeds) or maintenance. The most intensive and costly work is done on the primary sites to get the area established. Once sites are established they move to secondary and finally to maintenance areas that require minimal care/cost.