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Water Quality

Community groups join WAI in protecting waterways from stormwater pollution

The Drains are Streams programme is ramping up at WAI. Both in the classroom and throughout our local neighbourhoods. To add to the momentum, we’ve teamed up with two avid community groups in our area: Friends of Bullock Creek and The Albert Town Community Association. Working together towards mitigating stormwater pollution in their areas. This is collaboration at its finest!

Friends of Bullock Creek

Adopting drains and raising awareness

On a beautiful but chilly evening at the end of August, our team joined forces with the Friends of Bullock Creek. They are a community group dedicated to preserving the unique spring-fed waters of Bullock Creek. We ventured out with Paul and Andy from FOBC to connect with the neighbours adjacent the hatchery. From there we begin the group’s journey of adopting the drains that surround Bullock Creek.

Bullock Creek neighbourhood drain
Andy from Friends of Bullock Creek
“It’s really important that we build a group of Bullock Creek neighbours who love the creek. From Stone Street and Tenby Street, [Bullock Creek] winds its way past the dinosaur park and into Lake Wānaka. People have a real connection with the creek and that’s why we’re here to share that [connection] and have people get involved as a community of Bullock Creek.”

– Andy (FOBC)

To begin our journey together, Paul drilled in the steel ‘beasties’ (carvings of tuna, trout, kōaro and crested grebe). These are placed onto the storm drains that surround the hatchery’s entrance on Stone Street.

“It’s day one” says Paul, who will continue to work his way down stream of Bullock Creek, putting the steel carvings on drains and getting as many neighbours involved as we can.

To join Friends of Bullock Creek on their stormwater journey, or volunteer to keep the stream as pristine as can be, email or visit their website:

WAI sign with a message about stormwater drains

Albert Town Community Association

Litter Traps installed – first ever in Albert Town

The Albert Town Community Association has set the bar for stormwater stewardship within the Upper Clutha! They are the first to install ‘Litta Traps’ in two of their local storm drains. The litter traps, which were installed in-kind by VeoliaANZ, are devices designed to capture litter that may otherwise find its way into our lakes and rivers.

Litter trap for stormdrains

“The traps were purchased to stop rubbish entering the river from the drains in front of the Albert town shopping area. Veolia installed them (two weeks ago) and our association has committed to checking them monthly and recording what we find in the national litter intelligence database. This information helps to identify and reduce rubbish entering our pristine Clutha River.”

Jose from WAI Wānaka and Tania from ATCA checking the litter trap.
“This is our first-time supporting such a project and we have been very impressed by the level of professionalism and communication from the WAI team. We are delighted to be the first urban community to install these traps and encourage other communities to do the same.”

– Tania (ATCA member)

In addition to the litter traps, we also drilled steel beasties onto the drains around the Albert Town shopping area.

To join the Albert Town Community Association on their stormwater journey, or to find out more about the community group, you can email or visit their website:

Click here to learn more about Drains are Streams and how you can adopt the storm drains in your neighbourhood.