Community Wellbeing
Healthy Ecosystems
Risks to our Catchment
A stormwater system is designed to prevent flooding by collecting rainwater that runs off impervious surfaces such as roofs and paved areas like roads, parking lots and driveways.

Only drain rain

Stormwater isn’t pure water. As it runs over the ground and paved areas towards a drain it picks up pollutants.

Whatever goes into the drain outside your house – whether it’s poured in intentionally or washed down with rainwater – enters our waterways in virtually the same untreated condition. To protect our streams, rivers, lakes, aquifers and wetlands it’s important that the only thing going down stormwater drains is rainwater.

Who is doing what?

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is responsible for stormwater, drinking water and waste water.  Find out more on the QLDC website.

Otago Regional Council (ORC) is responsible for looking after our region’s natural resources. Find out more on the ORC website.

WAI Wānaka is currently launching a new project to protect our urban streams – visit the Urban Catchment Project page as well as an education pilot project focussed on stormwater and it’s impact on our lakes and rivers: Our Drains are Streams.

If you see something going down the drain that doesn’t look or smell good, please report it on the Pollution Hotline which is staffed 24/7 on 0800 800 033 or fill in this form online.

This is where the stormwater goes. (One of the many drains into Lake Wānaka: Bremner Bay on a calm day and just after a small rainfall event.)

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