Water is our most valuable, natural resource. It has many diverse and important values - providing habitat sources for wildlife, water for households, factories and farms and recreational and educational benefits for us all. Because of this it is vital that we protect our waterways.

Integrated Water Strategy
The Integrated Water Strategy establishes a framework for the management of Ipswich's water cycle in accordance with a total water cycle management approach.

Waterway and Channel Rehabilitation Guide
Council commissioned AECOM to develop a waterway and channel rehabilitation guideline to provide information on the retention or reinstatement of ecological functioning of waterways and channels, from design through to construction and maintenance. These solutions will increase habitat and water quality values associated with these waterways and channels as well as the aesthetic appeal and amenity of these public assets

Download the Guide here Waterway And Channel Guidelines (PDF, 2.0 MB)

Water Quality Management
Water Quality Management enables us to guard against the decline of our waterways and incorporates monitoring the quality of water, implementing programs which protect the waterways and rehabilitating habitat alongside waterways.

Through water quality monitoring we can collect regular data of water quality to assess the impacts of activities on the overall health of the catchment, or the area from which all run-off water flows to a low point to form a creek or river and is surrounded by hills and mountains. Areas of concern can then be investigated and action plans developed in order to minimise any problems.

Some common indicators of environmental health of the water include:

  • temperature
  • nitrogen
  • fauna and flora surveys
  • pH
  • turbidity
  • conductivity
  • dissolved oxygen
  • phosphorus

Monitoring also helps to evaluate how effective water management initiatives are in improving water quality.

What are we doing?

A Soils of Ipswich Field Guide has been developed by Council to assist in identifying soils within the Ipswich area that may be at risk of erosion.  This information is essential for planning and undertaking appropriate erosion and sediment control measures when conducting any activity that will disturb soil.

The aim of the Guide is to assist you in preventing the erosion and transport of sediment to infrastructure (e.g. roadways, storm water systems etc) and vulnerable environments (creeks, rivers, lakes, dams, wetlands etc) which results in costly or irreversible damage.

The Guide includes a general description of landforms and erosion, how to describe basic soil features and assess rapidly the vulnerability of a soil to water erosion.  It includes basic descriptions of the major soil types in the Ipswich area that include general soil properties and management options. Also see the Ipswich Soil Management Guidelines document below.

Soils of Ipswich Field Guide (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Ipswich Soil Management Guidelines   (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Construction sites are very prone to erosion problems and contribute large amounts of sediment to waterways.  Council is responsible for making sure that developers and builders don't pollute waterways, however the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is responsible for enforcement of stormwater pollution laws if the project is State Government or Council administered (eg construction of roads).

Council officers patrol the Ipswich area distributing education materials to builders explaining what they can do to stop soil from leaving their site.  Anyone (not just builders) who allows dirt, paint, cement or other chemicals to wash into a stormwater drain can be fined.  The on-the-spot fine amounts are $1,767 for individuals and $8,835 for businesses. The State Government sets these fine amounts.

Further Information

What can you do to protect our waterways?

The waterways of Ipswich weave their way through mountain peaks, rural landscapes, urban backyards and the heart of the city. They have played an important role in the regions history and continue to do so today, supporting agriculture and industry, and providing an essential natural resource to the Ipswich region, contributing to a range of values that all residents and visitors can enjoy.

The series of informative Waterway Health Fact Sheets have been developed to provide a greater understanding and appreciation of waterway health and catchment management issues in Ipswich, focussing on topics such as revegetating waterways, water quality, the impact of erosion and sediments on waterways, and what you can do to help protect Ipswich waterways.

You can download the fact sheets by clicking on the links below:

Fact Sheet 1 - Living in a Healthy Catchment (PDF, 269 kb)
Fact Sheet 2 - All About Catchments (PDF, 256 kb)
Fact Sheet 3 - A Short History of Ipswich Waterways (PDF, 565 kb)
Fact Sheet 4 - Erosion and Sediments in Ipswich Waterways (PDF, 870 kb)
Fact Sheet 5 - Water Quality (PDF, 217 kb)
Fact Sheet 6 - Why Revegetate Waterways (PDF, 372 kb)
Fact Sheet 7 - The Water Cycle (PDF, 836 kb)
Fact Sheet 8 - Threats and Challenges Facing Our Waterways (PDF, 298 kb)
Fact Sheet 9 - Native Flora and Fauna of Ipswich Waterways (PDF, 596 kb)
Fact Sheet 10 - What Can I Do To Help (PDF, 76 kb)
Fact Sheet 11 - Waterway Terms (PDF, 132 kb)

Reduce Water Pollution

Decreasing the amount of water pollution will directly help protect our waterways. Water pollution often comes from what goes down street side gutters which drain into local creeks and rivers so think carefully about what goes down the drain. The stormwater system is separate to the sewerage system so it all doesn’t flow to a treatment plant.

Learn more about how you can eliminate water pollution.

Healthy Land and Water provide more detailed information on reducing water pollution. You can visit their website at www.hlw.org.au