What’s the Yellowfish program?
You may have noticed a painting of a yellow fish on storm drains in your neighbourhood. This is to remind us that they empty into the North Saskatchewan River, and whatever we put into them could end up in our drinking water.
Even if we don’t see it, there are consequences to what we flush down the drain. As a community let’s make sure it’s only rainwater.
Here’s what you need to know
• The areas affected serve as important homes to many animals and plants, not just fish that need good water quality to survive.
• Motor oils, antifreeze and lubricants add metals, chemicals and unwanted nutrients in runoff can affect your water quality.
• Fertilizers cause unsightly algae in ponds and rivers, hurting the ecosystem.
How you can make a difference
• Salt and detergents affect the chemical composition of water. Use the car wash instead of your driveway and opt for sand instead of salt on icy walks.
• Find natural alternatives to herbicides, pesticides and detergents to keep them out of the storm system after a rain.
• Use environmentally friendly or chemical-free products or materials
• Use natural alternatives, such as lemon juice, vinegar or baking powder, for cleaning
• Properly dispose of hazardous materials – Find your location eco station here
• Find a household hazardous waste drop-off site that accepts used chemicals – Find your location eco station here
• Start your own compost pile for fertilizer or mulch
• Use sand instead of salt on icy sidewalks and driveways
• Sweep up and dispose of dirt and debris prior to its entering the storm drain
• Instead of using man-made fertilizers, leave grass clippings on the lawn (grass recycling)
• Manually pull weeds and cover bare areas with seed / mulch in place of herbicides
• Rely on the appropriate facilities to dispose of waste. Edmonton’s Eco-Stations can handle a wide range of items.