The water in Willoughby’s taps comes from Warragamba Dam. Human activities have a serious impact on our waterways. When it rains stormwater runs off our roads and houses pours into our creeks, taking with it chemicals, litter, weeds and dirt. Pollution affects our local water quality and we monitor this regularly, publishing results in our pdf format Water Quality Report.

photo of a lake

In order to reduce our impact on the environment, it is important to conserve water and follow the NSW Government's Water Wise Rules. You can also reduce your consumption of treated water by installing a rainwater tank and reusing greywater. Contact Council for more information on best tanks or systems for your home. 

Understanding pdf format The Water Cycle is an important step to understanding the value of clean water and using it wisely.   

What can we do to conserve and value clean water in Willoughby?

  • Reduce your potable water use at home
  • Install water efficient devices
  • Checking for leaks
  • Use less and use it wisely
  • Reuse water with a greywater system 
  • Collect and use rainwater with a rainwater tank 
  • Clean up your property to avoid polluting stormwater
  • When updating your home include Water Sensitive Urban Design components in your design.
  • Plant a drought-resistant garden 


When it rains in a natural environment, much of the water is absorbed into the ground. However, in Willoughby Council’s highly urbanised areas, most of the water falls on hard surfaces such as roofs, roads and footpaths. This rain runoff then becomes stormwater.

Stormwater can easily become polluted as it washes away soil, litter, animal waste, oil or leaves. The stormwater eventually runs into drains which then flow into local creeks. Unlike sewerage, stormwater is not treated, which means that any pollution in the stormwater washes into our local waterways, Middle Harbour or Lane Cove River. Polluted water makes it hard not only for people to enjoy activities like swimming or fishing but also harms wildlife and plants. We monitor water quality in our catchments and publish our pdf format Water Quality Report regularly. 

What can we do? 

Cleaning up backyards and streets prevents litter, dog droppings, leaves, cigarette butts and oil from ending up in our catchments.

You can find out which catchment area you live in and can protect by selecting a map and locating your street. 

For more on what you can do in your home, see Household Water.