If you’ve been downtown Invermere in the last couple of weeks, you might have seen some new images by the storm water drains. These yellow fish were recently painted by J.A. Laird’s grade 4/5 class as an Earth Day project to help spread awareness about protecting our waterways.
The students had an opportunity to take positive action in our community, and chose to participate in Trout Unlimited’s Yellow Fish Road initiative. With Yellow Fish Road, volunteers paint bright yellow fish silhouettes and the words “rain only” beside storm drains that lead directly to rivers and lakes without being treated.
Bringing attention to water pollution, the grade 4/5s marked 20 drains in downtown Invermere which flow straight into Lake Windermere. Anything that falls into these drains – trash, oil, soap, gravel etc. – ends up polluting our water. So if you see a drain with a yellow fish painted beside it, please take action to prevent water pollution.
The District of Invermere supported the class project, providing painting supplies and a map identifying storm water drains in town. Usually rectangular, storm water drains carry runoff into our waterways, while the usually round manholes are access points to sewers and underground utilities. The DOI noted that many areas in Invermere utilize open ditches instead of drains, which also raise concerns for water pollution. There are also many storm drains in town leading straight to groundwater – keep your eyes open for blue tap symbols in the future.