Contaminants are substances that are either present in an environment where they do not belong or are present at levels that have the potential to harm human or environmental health. Contaminants can be natural in origin, such as some metals, or can be man-made.
Some examples of contaminants that may be found in our waterways include:
- petroleum by-products
- anti-fouling paints
- bacteria and
Contaminants are widespread in our waterways in one form or another, although certain areas typically contain higher concentrations and more types of contaminants than others. These areas are often in the vicinity of industry, urbanisation and agriculture. The Department of Water assesses the concentrations and types of contaminants in a variety of water bodies including river and estuary systems, stormwater drains and groundwater. We manage this through a range of water quality, sediment quality and ecotoxicological techniques.
Understanding the types and concentrations of contaminants both within and entering our waterways will assist the department in assessing river and estuarine health and in determining management solutions for impacts such as algal blooms and fish kill events.
For further information see:
- A Baseline Study of Contaminants in the Swan and Canning Catchment Drainage System
- Baseline Study of Contaminants in Groundwater at Disused Waste Disposal Sites in the Swan Canning Catchment
- Baseline Study of Organic Contaminants in the Swan and Canning Catchment Drainage System Using Passive Samplers
- Baseline Study of Contaminants in the Sediments of the Swan and Canning Estuaries
- Ecotoxicological and Bioaccumulation Investigations of the Swan Estuary in the Vicinity of Claisebrook
- A Preliminary Ecotoxicological Investigation of Bull Creek
- Ecotoxicological Investigation ofthe Groundwater Interception Drain Outfall at Claisebroook on the Swan Estuary
- Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey in the Swan Estuary at Claisebrook
- Claisebrook in the Swan Estuary, Western Australia – A Synthesis of Environmental Information and Historical Retrospective