Gross pollutant traps

Gross pollutant traps (GPTs) are one way to treat stormwater before it enters local waterways.

Inner West local government area falls within three catchments:

  1. Lower Parramatta River catchment in the north west that flows into Sydney Harbour
  2. Sydney Harbour in the north
  3. Cooks River in the south that flows into Botany Bay.   

Inner West Council has 23 GPTs that play an important role in removing large (gross) pollutants greater than two millimetres from stormwater runoff. 

  • 47.7 tonnes of pollutants entering the Cooks River, including:
    • 28.6 tonnes organic matter
    • 15.1 tonnes sediment
    • 4.1 tonnes litter
  • 44.5 tonnes of material entering the Parramatta River.

Plastic bags, plastic bottles and takeaway food containers are the most common types of litter found in GPTs followed by garden waste.

Keeping litter off our streets is the first and best step to make our rivers clean.

GPTs are an end solution to the problem of waste entering our waterways. They are expensive to construct and require maintenance that cost more than $80,000 in 2015/16. 

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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