Cattai Creek headwaters project - top of the catchment
Grant number: Targeted education grant (Urban Stormwater Education Program)
Grant funding: $17,000
Local government area/s: Baulkham Hills Shire Council
Location/s: Stage 1 - Cattai Creek headwaters in the Castle Hill area.
Stage 2 - Headwaters of Little Cattai Creek and O'Hara's Creek
Project partners: Baulkham Hills Shire Council, Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Trust, local schools and businesses, and the Cattai Creek Headwaters Restoration Project Team.
Baulkham Hills Shire comprises a mix of residential, industrial (largely warehousing) and rural lands and is the local government area that predominantly impacts on the Cattai Creek catchment. Increasing urban development at the headwaters of the catchment has led to an increase in the volume and speed of stormwater runoff.
Residential and industrial activities associated with development have also led to high levels of pollutants and nutrients which have degraded the creek's water quality.
In 1997 the National Parks and Wildlife Service classified Little Cattai Creek as the most pristine waterway of the Sydney Basin. Development now threatens this creek.
The Cattai Creek Headwaters Project involved community stakeholders in improving the creek's ecological health.
Through an integrated stormwater education program addressing the community, schools, industry and the council, the project objectives were to:
- reduce the impact of residential and industrial activities on Cattai Creek
- restore the degraded riparian corridor between Cockayne and Fred Caterson Reserve on Cattai Creek, Castle Hill.
The project was designed to target the local community through community groups, schools, local industry and the local council.
A major focus of the project was the yellow fish road stormwater drain stencilling program, which involved stencilling stormwater drains throughout the Cattai Creek Headwaters area. The stencilling aimed to raise awareness about where the stormwater was going, and acted as a focus for educational activities, local community group involvement and local media reports.
Methodology and tools
The yellow fish road program raised awareness of community, school and industry activities and resulted in the stencilling of all headwater drains. Stencilling days presented opportunities for volunteers and students to be educated about stormwater pollution. Other special events were also organised at which the yellow fish symbol was featured.
The second stage of the program extended the stencilling to the headwaters of Little Cattai and O'Hara's creeks.
Surveys of local residents, schools and industry displayed the community's awareness of stormwater issues and informed people about the program.
Local industry representatives were given a fact sheet and the opportunity to participate in presentations about their site management obligations under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
The local council depot was audited and practices put in place to improve site management.
The following were developed or organised:
- a fact sheet on The Yellow Fish Road Stormwater Drain Stencilling Program
- a yellow fish brochure
- a presentation day information sheet
- the headwaters project launch
- a media campaign, including regular media releases
- project displays at local shopping centres and special events
- a presentation to schools and general community
- a post-stencilling survey of residents and industry
- a newsletter issued by Baulkham Hills Shire Council – Up the Creek.
- There was comprehensive stencilling of Cattai Creek headwaters.
- Stormwater messages reached over 1,400 people via yellow fish brochures.
- Local community members, including volunteers from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Guides, Brownies and Baulkham Hills Shire Council staff were involved in various activities, all of which included positive stormwater messages.
- A good relationship was established with Parker Hannifin Corporation in the Castle Hill Industrial Estate, which took an active role in the headwaters project.
Ensure that any material is proofread before it goes to the printer, and the printer supplies a proof to be checked and signed off before printing starts.
When using the yellow fish road program, consider using Drains into (local) creek or The drain is just for rain.
Project resources and further information
Phone Baulkham Hills Shire Council on (02) 9843 0555.
Page last updated: 26 February 2011