Fish remind public that drains are for rain - 9/12/2010
Visitors to Wanganui’s Central Business District may notice the addition of blue plastic ‘fish’ located at the side of stormwater road drains.
The ‘fish’ are embossed with the message ‘drains only for rain’ and form part of a major awareness campaign to remind the public that stormwater from roads and drains flows directly into our streams and the Whanganui River.
Wanganui District Council has spent $120M cleaning up streams and rivers through the wastewater separation project, which removes wastewater from the stormwater system. However, cigarette butts, rubbish, chemicals and other waste are frequently disposed of in stormwater road drains, which flow straight into the rivers and streams causing pollution.
Mayor Annette Main is supportive of the project, which focuses the public’s attention on the importance of keeping our waterways clean.
“Throwing a cigarette butt or pouring chemicals down one of these drains is the same as putting them straight into the Whanganui River. This project is really a reminder to people that stormwater drains are not rubbish bins.
“Not only the District Council, but Horizons and DoC are supporting this initiative, highlighting that it’s not just organisations but individuals who need to take responsibility for our waterways.
“A suggestion made by a student at St Georges that an eel symbol may have special relevance here is being followed up. The eel and fish reflect the biodiversity of our local rivers and provide a practical and attractive way to keep this important message in public view.
“Similar stormwater signs have been used to great effect in other parts of New Zealand so we are confident this will be effective.”
Stormwater fish are currently located by drains in Guyton Street and near the Guyton Street/Victoria Avenue intersection. They will be rolled out to the rest of the CBD area and eventually, over a four year period, to all 3700 stormwater sumps in Wanganui.