Fertilisers, chemicals threaten health of Swan River: CCWA

Hard Water - Laundry Liquid, Laundry PowderA peak Western Australian environmental group has called for a review of fertilisers and other non-eco-friendly industrial products because of impacts on river health. The Swan River program has highlighted the risk posed by toxic chemicals on soil and water health and promoted the use of environmental cleaning products.

A ‘cocktail of environmental pollutants’ are to blame for the poor health of the Swan River, according to the Conservation Council of Western Australia.

The green revolution lobbyists have launched a campaign to make the iconic river more eco-friendly. Industrial liquid waste including fertilisers and other pollutants have been blamed for poor river health.

“The main cause of the river’s chronic poor health can be traced to a cocktail of environmental pollutants entering the river system from a range of industrial, agricultural and urban sources,” according to the CCWA. “These pollutants’ impact is exacerbated by climate change as we receive less rain in the catchments to flush the nutrients out to sea and higher temperatures aid algal growth.”

The CCWA claims toxic algal blooms have increased dramatically along the Swan River in the past five years.

Warm temperatures and high-levels of nutrients make waterways more prone to outbreaks of algae (the greenish blue slime which sits on the surface of the water). Non-environmentally friendly liquids including fertilisers and domestic and industrial products such as laundry powder contribute to algal blooms, which kill fish life and can pose a threat to other animals.

Choosing products low in phosphorous and nitrogen can dramatically reduce the risk of pollution from non-environmental cleaning products entering catchment areas.

Phosphate and nitrogen-rich fertilisers applied to the sandy soils of the Swan Coastal Plain enter the river through groundwater and surface flows.

According to the recent Swan Canning Water Quality Improvement Plan nutrients entering the Swan River are twice the maximum levels allowed for the river health to be restored.

The CCWA has been lobbying for greater awareness and better waste management.

“Nutrients that are not used by garden plants or agricultural crops and pastures are a wasted resource.. we know that alternative, slow release fertilisers can have the same, if not greater, results in promoting plant growth without the pollution.”

Alternative environmental cleaning products in industrial factories, workshops and farms can also reduce water and soil contamination.

Perth-based Envirosafe Solutions’ Extreme Green range of eco-friendly industrial liquids are highly-effective and unlike traditional cleaning solutions are safe to use, improving workplace safety and reducing storage risks. Its environmentally responsible range includes Soil Wetta-Dust Suppressor (ideal for use on farms, mining sites and transport depots), industrial hand cleaners including anti-bacterial hand wash, low-phosphate laundry liquids and powders as well as specialist cleaners such as rubber remover. For more information contact Envirosafe Solutions’ on 1300 88 90 70 or email info@evss.com.au.