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Our Environment: Issue 20 Spring 1999

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Green Fish On Grates Still A Winner

The successful green fish on grates programme initiated in the early 1990s is not water under the bridge as far as the City Council is concerned. There still is a need to inform people of the purpose of stormwater grates in the gutters outside their homes and businesses, according to Trades Waste Officer Jim Instone.

Now that existing outlines of the fish are fading the Council is keen that school children revive the programme by painting their own green fish beside stormwater grates. For tips on stencils, paint and how to avoid polluting the drains, teachers or pupils can phone Jim Instone on 941 8369.

Many people think of the drain sump as part of the sewer. They do not realise that anything tipped down the grating actually ends up in their nearest river or stream, not the Bromley Treatment Plant.

A "Green Fish Team" was created about eight years ago, utilising the skills of Taskforce Green workers.

Armed with a metal fish template created by resourceful students at the Christchurch Polytechnic, and sponsorship from Resene Paints, the team ensured that bright apple green fish appeared on the sump of every street in Christchurch. The biggest challenge was to spray the template without getting any paint in the guttering.

Green Fish team members also visited schools in the area to inform them of the project, distribute class resources and to enlist their co-operation in caring for grates in their neighbourhoods.

The Council's Trades Waste Team emphasises that the philosophy still goes on. They regularly target "do-it-yourselfers", car washers, garden and roofing sprayers, and anyone else who might not realise that paint, chemicals and soapsuds have no place in our city stormwater system. According to Team Leader Norm Fitt people are getting the message, but it needs to be regularly reinforced through targeted education.

Julie Eyles
Info and Publicity Officer
Waste Management Unit, CCC

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