The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has slapped a $1000 fine on painters working at a Dickson development site after they were discovered to have poured paint waste down a stormwater drain.
The painters, who were not named, emptied a paint wash basin into a stormwater sump within the building site which was directly connected to the stormwater system. The paint pollution was discovered during a routine inspection of Canberra’s stormwater channel by the EPA.
EPA spokeswoman Narelle Sargent said the prevention of pollution on building sites is a key focus for the authority and the industry was now on notice.
“EPA officers observed a white substance in the water flowing down an open stormwater channel in Dickson and traced it back to the development,” Ms Sargent said.
“Paints are toxic to the environment and can poison fish and other animals in our creeks, lakes and rivers and make our waterways unsafe for recreational use.”
Ms Sargent reminded those in the painting industry that no material or wastewater should enter the stormwater system and check the location of stormwater drains and to not store any materials within 10 metres of the stormwater system or in places where it may enter the stormwater system.
If you are a painter or are considering painting your own house, you can prevent pollution entering the environment by following the tips contained in the ‘Preventing Pollution from Painting’ information sheet available on the Access Canberra website or by calling the EPA on 13 22 81.