eNewsletter Winter 2019

Peterborough Environment Capital

Innovative campaign highlights our drain waste dangers

The dangers of pouring waste down roadside drains is being highlighted as part of an innovative campaign which sees yellow fish painted on pavements.


The Yellow Fish campaign was launched by the Environment Agency and is centred on an international approach to protecting the environment.


It is based around the idea of painting a yellow fish symbol beside drains to remind people that any waste entering them may go directly to the nearest stream, river, lake, canal, beach or bathing water - causing pollution and killing wildlife.


Peterborough City Council is supporting the campaign and has teamed up with two city schools - Norwood Primary and Werrington Primary to help spread the message.



Working with our partners Anglian Water, officers have spoken to pupils about the dangers of pouring waste down drains and invited them to take part in a competition in which pupils were asked to come up with their own yellow fish designs, with a winner from each school chosen by the council's drainage team.


The winners, Thomas Sharpe (9) from Norwood Primary and Lucy Ollerton (10) from Werrington Primary will be presented with an image of their design and then watch a graffiti artist paint the image outside their schools and also along the school road.


Andrew Leadbetter, Sustainable Drainage Manager for Peterborough City Council, said: "We think this campaign is a great way of highlighting a very important issue. Seeing a big bright colourful fish and a message next to a drain really makes people take notice.


"The campaign has been successfully nationally and we're confident that will be the same in Peterborough. We've really enjoyed getting the schools involved, seeing the pupils enjoy themselves and learn about the environment. We'd now ask everyone to spread this message."


An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Roadside drains, which are managed by local councils, are only designed to take rainwater. Unlike our drainage network flow from roadside drains is not treated before it ends up back in our rivers and seas which is why it’s even more critical that we do not tip waste down drains. We all have a responsibility to care for and protect our environment and the Yellow Fish campaign is a great way of raising awareness of this issue.”


To highlight how serious the issue is, the council's drainage team has revealed some of the items that have been previously found in drains in Peterborough:

  • Empty vodka bottles
  • Household paint
  • Wallpaper paste
  • A home which had a bad smell in drain outside. Drainage engineers came round and realised that previous homeowners had installed an on-suite and connected the sewage pipe with the main drain pipe (hence the smell in the roadside drain).


For more information about the Yellow Fish campaign visit the council website.

For information and advice on drainage visit Anglian Water or the council's drainage page.


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