Don’t dump in duck pond

Good job: Wollondilly Council's park staff Craig "Podge" Davies works hard to keep the Picton Botanic Garden and the pond looking beautiful. Dry weather is causing the pond to look discoloured. Picture: Chris Lane
Good job: Wollondilly Council's park staff Craig "Podge" Davies works hard to keep the Picton Botanic Garden and the pond looking beautiful. Dry weather is causing the pond to look discoloured. Picture: Chris Lane

Council staff and residents alike are fed up with the state of the Picton Botanic Garden duck pond.

During the school holidays and particularly over the long weekend, objects were found in the pond including dumped drums, a pram and other smaller items.

One local resident Stacey Vernon said she often took her toddler down to the pond to look at the ducks.

“It was an eyesore when I went down there on Sunday, October 1,” she said.

“It was disgusting to see steel drums and a pram in the water. And the water was filthy.”

Mrs Vernon urged residents to use their “common sense” and respect public spaces in the shire.

“The gardens always look nice,” she said. “It would be good if the pond looked the same. It is the only park in Picton we have.”

Infrastructure and environment director Michael Malone said Wollondilly Council staff acted quickly to remove the debris.

“Our normal early morning clean up works were completed and the litter was removed during the first shift after the long weekend,” he said.

“The council is also frustrated by the additional objects of littering and dumped items that have been exposed as the water level in the pond decreases due to the prolonged dry spell. 

“The actions of a few disrespectful visitors results in additional costs to the community and diversion of our limited resources away from our normal and more positive operations in the botanic garden.”

“The council’s team regularly removes visible dumped material and litter from the pond and surrounds however, access can be difficult and the reduction in water level is continuing to expose previous littering and dumped debris.

“We will continue to remove debris as it is exposed when it is possible to do so safely.”

Mr Malone explained that the dry weather was the cause of the discoloured water.

“The pond functions as a storm water quality management and flow control for the surrounding catchment,” he said.

“During dry spells, such as we are currently experiencing, the water level drops and the condition of the water can decline with the stagnation of the water due to lack of movement.

“Less dilution of the bio-matter, such as food scraps and debris from the ducks, results in the de‑oxygenation of the water and increased cloudiness. 

“It’s a naturally occurring process that is difficult to prevent in a dry environment.”

Mrs Vernon praised council staff’s quick actions to remove the debris.