Manage a Stream
Plantings can be attractive and help increase native biodiversity and thus improve water quality. Native plants allow water to seep into the soils, decreasing the volume of surface water runoff and reduce flood risk and pollutant discharge into natural drains.
Native plants can make a big difference to the stability of stream banks, as their roots hold the soil together. Planting the right variety of native plants around a stream also creates shade and enhances the stream habitat.
Planting of the drainage network is encouraged by the Council, but this needs to be approved. Some guidelines can be accessed by the following links:
- A guild to managing water ways on Canterbury farms
- A guide to the protection of Canterbury's rivers, streams and wetlands
You can apply for funding assistance through the Environment Canterbury Biodiversity Fund for projects to enhance a natural waterway.
Keep it healthy and keep it safe
Here are some tips for keeping a stream healthy and safe:
- Slow down stream flow to prevent erosion by using well-sited rocks or logs
- Use wire fences to keep kids safe, whilst letting water runoff through
- Provide shaded areas, as cooler streams can support more natural eco-life
- Keep the stream free from garden waste and any fallen trees (blockages)
- Avoid overuse of chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and insecticides near natural streams
- Ensure fences are an appropriate distance away from a natural drain
- Provide designed access for people and/or machinery
- keep access way free of trees, hedges and other obstacles
- A bridge, rather than culvert, allows for more natural water flow
- Do not put buildings in known or identified floodplains
Other Resources and Reading Materials
- Environment Canterbury Regional Council Managing streams and waterways
- Auckland Council Caring for urban streams