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Water weeds

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Water weeds are invasive plants that threaten the value of our waterways. These introduced plants are able to flourish in Australian environments becoming invasive weeds.

View a  list of water weeds2MB pdf(PDF, 2MB) prohibited from sale in NSW. 

Water weeds can affect the environment by:

  • impeding waterflow and increase flooding and erosion
  • reducing water quality, creating health hazards
  • displacing natural vegetation and destroy aquatic life
  • preventing recreational activities
  • reducing fish habitat
  • blocking channels and irrigation equipment
  • preventing stock access to water

Water weeds can be spread by:

  • watercraft, trailers and fishing equipment. They can survive considerable time out of water and new infestations are often noticed near areas such as boat ramps.
  • propellers and anchors cutting plants into fragments. A single fragment can start a new infestation
  • birds through feeding and nesting

How can we protect our waterways from the threat of water weeds: 

  • carefully consider what plants to buy for ponds and aquariums
  • purchase plants from accredited nurseries and sellers
  • don’t dispose of unwanted plants in or near water
  • help control new infestations early, before they take over
  • clean equipment such as boats, trailers, vehicles and earth moving machinery when moving between sites
  • report suspicious weeds to Council's Biosecurity Officer 

Council encourages residents to be weed aware when buying aquatic plants especially online and across state boundaries where plants may be legal to sell but are considered illegal in NSW. Dumping of aquatic plants or the contents of aquariums/ponds into waterways is strongly discouraged as they often out-compete local native species and are a major threat to the health of our local ecology.

Council staff can provide assistance with identification of aquatic weeds and control of some infestations. Council's Biosecurity Officer can be contacted via phone on (02) 6581 8111 or via email at

Aquatic weeds are serious pests and reporting is mandatory for any weed that is deemed Prohibited Matter.

This page was last updated on: 27 August 2019