In Term 4 Sally Smith returned to teach our class about stormwater and waste water.

We discussed how all the stuff from our toilets, the bath water, washing and dishwater travels from our homes to a treatment plant in Mangere where the dangerous materials are eaten up by superbugs and killed by ultraviolet light.


Using talcum powder for the pollutants we saw how all these dangerous things can get washed into the stormwater: paint from people cleaning their brushes, detergent from washing your car, cement from building sites, litter like food scraps and lolly wrappers, oil from cars, household cleaning products and lawn clippings left on the roadside.


We learnt that oil sits on the surface of the water and stops oxygen from getting in the water. Petrol, paint, detergent, even cigarette butts can poison animals living in the water. Cement is one of the worst pollutants, muddying the water, making it hard for animals to breathe and find food and for plants to make their own food.


'Only rain down the drain!' was the message people needed reminding of. We decided to first stencil our message in Maori around the grates where students eat their lunch at our school. We drew orea (the eels that live in Waiateao and Waiorea) saying the rhyme, 'KAUA E TUKU KAI KI RO KORERE WAI' which means 'No food scraps down the drain'.