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DIY and gutter talk

Media Release

January 2014

DIY and gutter talk

‘Tis the season to be busy around the home with cleaning, painting and gardening high on the list of things to do while the weather is right. ‘Tis also a good time to remember, that roadside gutters are only for the rain.

Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Senior Environmental Protection Officer, Naomi Middleton says that there are a number of incidents each summer where staff are called out because home handypersons have tipped paint or other pollutants down stormwater drains.

“Stormwater drains include the gully traps for rainwater that runs off your roof and down the spouting as well as the gutters and drains on the streets. Whatever goes down these drains passes, largely untreated, into streams, rivers and the sea,” Miss Middleton explains.

“Unlike wastewater drains from your kitchen, laundry or bathroom which run into the sewerage and through a treatment system, stormwater drains flow directly into our natural waterways. If you put paint or chemicals down these drains you are directly affecting a waterway or ocean near you as well as all the fish plants and birds and even humans that live or swim there.”

So don’t let the feel-good effect of DIY go down the gutter this summer. Follow the disposal instructions, clean your car on the lawn or take it to a car wash, clean paint brushes in the laundry sink or in a bucket that you tip somewhere in your garden and take household chemicals, to the landfills.

More information on saving our waterways is available on council’s website http://www.gw.govt.nz/save-the-drain-for-rain/


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