Gross pollutant traps

Gross pollutant traps, known as GPTs, are one of many ways to treat stormwater before it enters our waterways.

Inner West Council is bounded by three significant marine ecosystems: Parramatta River in the north-west, Sydney Harbour in the north, and Cooks River in the south. All across the inner west, 23 GPTs have an important role in cleaning stormwater of large pollutants (items larger than 2 millimetres).

In 2016, Inner West Council GPTs prevented 44.5 tonnes of material from entering the Parramatta River.

Also in 2016, Inner West Council GPTs along the Cooks River stopped a further 47.7 tonnes. This was 28.6 tonnes of organic matter, 15.1 tonnes of sediment, and 4.1 tonnes of litter – all of which did not enter the Cooks River.

The most common types of litter found in GPTs are plastic bags, plastic bottles and takeaway food containers. Garden waste also makes up a lot of the material caught by GPTs.

GPTs are an end solution to the problem of waste entering our waterways. They require cleaning and they are expensive. Keeping litter off our streets is the first and most effective step in making our rivers clean.

GPT data

Visit the GPT data page to see the amount of waste collected by Council's GPTs before it enters the Cooks River, Parramatta River, and Sydney Harbour.

The GPTs are visually inspected and cleaned monthly.

Examples of GPTs

Here are some examples of different types of GPTs installed along the Cooks and Parramatta Rivers.

GPT Diversion System filter2.jpg
Diversion system
The *red* arrows show how large items sink to the bottom of the GPT, the *blue* arrows show how sediment is trapped, and the *yellow* arrows ...
An end-of-pipe net GPT, located in Marrickville.
End-of-pipe net
An end-of-pipe net GPT, located in Marrickville.
A floating boom net GPT, located in Earlwood.
Floating boom net
A floating boom net GPT, located in Earlwood.
A trash rack GPT, located in Marrickville.
Trash rack
A trash rack GPT, located in Marrickville.

The journey of litter

See how far litter can travel in our waterways.

The journey of a plastic bottle from Hawthorne Canal to Balgowlah Heights
Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour
The journey of a plastic bottle from Hawthorne Canal to Balgowlah Heights
The voyage of a plastic bottle along the Cooks River
The Cooks River
The voyage of a plastic bottle along the Cooks River

See other infrastructure that prevents litter entering waterways

Sydney Water’s litter boom traps stop the movement of litter once it enters a waterway. Litter booms help because it would be far too costly to install a GPT on every stormwater outlet. See the amounts of litter collected by the litter booms near you.

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