Yellow Fish Road Program
Did you know that in Edmonton anything going into our storm drains makes its way – unfiltered – to the North Saskatchewan River, which is Edmonton’s main water supply. Two of Kimberley Homes’ new neighbourhoods in SW Edmonton – ONE at Keswick and Keswick on the River – are located only a few kilometers upstream from the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant, which is responsible for filtering Edmonton’s water supply from the North Saskatchewan River. For this reason, the Yellow Fish Road Program has been instituted in these communities.
Things we use every day have the potential to be harmful to our drinking water. Examples include fertilizer, chemical cleaners, salt, animal droppings, soap, construction materials, and pesticides/herbicides. These items make their way into our storm drains as runoff and impact the water quality of the North Saskatchewan River, which in turn impacts wildlife and our drinking water.
The Yellow Fish Road Program was created in 1991 as a “water education program specifically targeted to reduce water pollution.” Driving or walking through your neighbourhood you might notice yellow fish painted along storm drains. These bright fish are there to remind you that only rainwater should be entering the drains.
There area few simple actions you can take to help maintain water quality both for other residents in your community and for the fish and other wildlife that use our waterways.
- Use environmentally friendly products and cleaners in your home
- Properly dispose of hazardous materials and chemicals – there is an Eco Station located east of Windermere (on Ellerslie Road SW) that will take paint, chemicals, oil, and many more liquid contaminants
- Clean up after your pet, disposing of their “droppings” in sealed garbage bags for curbside pickup
- Use sand instead of salt on icy sidewalks and driveways – this is also recommended for extending the life and quality of your concrete surfaces, so it’s a win-win!
- Take your vehicle to a car wash instead of cleaning it in your driveway
- Instead of using chemical fertilizers or herbicides on your lawn and plants, leave your grass clippings in place after mowing, and manually pull weeds (or find a lawn care company that will take care of this for you!)
This is just a small list of small ways you can change your daily habits to benefit your neighbours and yourself.
Access to the River Valley is one of the great amenities benefiting these neighbourhoods, and with this unique accessibility comes responsibility. All of us working and living in these areas must do our part to protect water quality, and maintain this natural beauty for all current and future Edmontonians.
Sources: Trout Unlimited Canada, Beaverbrook Communities “Our Water” pamphlet, City of Edmonton “River For Life”