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Engaging with Nature
Teacher Information Pack
What is Drain Stencilling?
Drain Stencilling is a hands-on community action program designed to raise awareness
and reduce the impacts of stormwater pollution on rivers, creeks and coastal waters in the
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region.
The program involves groups stencilling stormwater drain
lids with environmental messages. Participants may also letterbox drop surrounding residents with a flyer giving some handy hints on minimising the impacts of stormwater pollution.
Stencils include an environmental slogan such as “Drains are Just for Rain” and “Don’t pollute my home”. As many people aren’t aware that stormwater drain pipes carry water to the nearest creek or river and eventually to the ocean without any form of treatment, the messages stencilled on local streets will remind the community that actions such as washing the car on the road or driveway, littering, sweeping or hosing leaves and dirt into gutters and not cleaning up after your dog can directly affect the health of our waterways.
The drain stencilling kits can be borrowed for up to 2 weeks, with all equipment and materials provided free of charge.
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CONTACT YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL
For further information contact your local NRM Education office:
www.nrmeducation.net.au/index.php?page=contact-us 2 Introductory Stormwater Quiz STORMWATER = Rain water + Pollution
Read the following then answer the questions:
As stormwater travels towards our creeks, rivers and wetlands it collects and deposits many different types of pollutants. Eventually this stormwater is released into waterways (including rivers, creeks and wetlands), without being treated. There are many types of pollutants in stormwater that can have a negative effect on our waterways. Common pollutants include rubbish, oil, detergents, animal poo, soil, fertilisers and organic waste. Stormwater does NOT include sewage.
When it rains, water falls onto a variety of surfaces, including roads, gardens & rooftops.
• List other surfaces and categorise as permeable (absorbant) or non-permeable (hard).
Pollutants are often collected by the rain water and carried via gutters, drains and pipes to our waterways.
• What types of pollutants (liquid and solid), might be found on different surfaces in your catchment area?
• How can we prevent or reduce the pollution found in school yards, car parks, playgrounds and streets?
• The Drain Stencilling Program isone way of addressing pollution problems; can you think of other REDUCE/REUSE/RECYCLE solutions?
Equipment required The loan kit contains the main equipment needed to conduct drain stencilling. It includes instructions, paint, brushes, stencil, safety vests and cones, wire brush and hand broom.
Additional items required include:
Sun screen, hats and appropriate clothing for students while stencilling.
A street directory or Google Earth map to record the location of the streets that have been stencilled Group management Drain stencilling works best with groups of 5-10 people and a supervisor, enabling all participants to be actively involved in the activity.
Safety The proximity of the activity to roads requires children to be supervised and managed by a teacher or parent while stencilling.
We encourage groups to use the safety equipment supplied (witches hat and orange vests).
The drain stencilling activity can be done entirely from the footpath with no participants needing to be on the road.
Kit Maintenance Please clean the stencil after use.
Please clean the brushes with soap and water immediately after use. If the paint dries, the brushes will need to be replaced and you may be charge for this.
Please return the kit with all its parts by the agreed date, and record your activity using our online form.
Point for teachers Drain Stencilling is a great extension activity for students who are studying the impacts of stormwater pollution on the environment. Drain stencilling encourages learners to apply the knowledge and values they are developing about the world around them in a meaningful way. Drain stencilling provides an opportunity to take action, and to educate others, which can help people to feel empowered and positive about their role in improving the environment.
Our school is planning to participate in a drain stencilling activity which is aimed at encouraging the community to reduce the amount of pollution that enters stormwater drains. As our stormwater drains are connected directly to rivers, wetlands, creeks and the sea it is very important that pollution to these areas is minimised.
The drain stencilling activity will be carried out on ________________________ at __________________.
You are welcome to attend and participate in this event with your child.
The range of activities that may be carried out by your child includes:
• Using a wire brush to prepare a drain lid for stencilling
• Using water based paints to stencil drain lids
• Dropping flyers into letterboxes in the school’s neighbourhood Could you please sign the attached slip and return to the school by___________________
Thanks for your support of this important initiative.
Dear Teacher/ Principal I give permission for my child (insert name) _________________________ to participate in the drain stencilling activity on the (insert date) ____________________.
Print name here: _______________________________
Other equipment (does not require replacement):
• Paint – only use the special road marking paint provided (water based).
• Handouts – please return any unused handouts
• Litter Bags.
Clean Up The paint provided is water based. After stencilling, use water and soap to wash down all equipment that has come into contact with paint, (i.e. stencil, brushes, lunchbox, outside of paint squeeze bottle).
Make sure that clean up is carried out in a suitable area where runoff will not enter the stormwater system.
Return of the kit
When you return this stencilling kit please ensure the following:
• All equipment listed above is included
• The kit and stencil have been cleaned as per cleaning instructions on this page
• You have recorded your drain stencilling activity and locations using our online form.
1. Select a smooth drain lid. If the lid has an unusual shape or bumpy texture, leave it and move on to a better quality drain lid.
2. Carefully place the safety cone provided on the road one metre out from the drain being stencilled.
. If required, clean the lid of the drain with a wire brush and then dust off with a hand broom.
. Place the stencil in the centre of the drain lid, making sure that the image is the right way up and facing the road.
5. Hold the stencil FIRMLY at all four corners during stencilling.
. The key to a good quality drain stencil is the amount of paint you use. Put a small blob of paint in the paint tray provided. Only apply a small amount of paint to your brush. Use paint sparingly on the stencil text, brushing with a quick blotting action works best.
. When using the dolphin image it may be easier to squirt a blob approximately as big as a fifty cent piece in the middle of the dolphin. Then carefully spread this paint around with the brushes.
8. You can letterbox flyers in the streets where stencilling has been done (only one per letterbox). Don’t letterbox where there are “No Unauthorised Mail”, “No Junk Mail”, “Australia Post Only” or similar signs.
9. Fill out the data record sheet and attach a map marked with the drains/streets that have been stencilled.
10. Please ensure all equipment is cleaned after use. Clean the equipment with water on a lawn or grassy area where paint won’t runoff into stormwater drains.
11. Please return all equipment by the agreed date to the NRM Education office. Drain Stencilling around School Grounds Why not stencil in or around the school grounds? This can increase the awareness of students, parents and teachers about the impacts of stormwater pollution on our waterways.
Locate the main stormwater drains in or around the school grounds, there may be a variety of types (eg. grates, side entry pits). Are the surfaces on or next to these drains suitable for stencilling, ie. do they have clean and flat surfaces?
• Borrow the stencilling kit from your local NRM Education office.
• Tell other people at the school what these new stencilled messages around the school mean.
• Door knock classrooms and make brief presentations about the work you’ve done.
• Make an announcement and presentation at your school assembly. Include information about your stencilling efforts in the school newsletter or on the school website.
Even if you can’t stencil your school drains, making a presentation to the school about stormwater pollution and how students and teachers can prevent it is an important step in helping to keep our waterways cleaner.
Class conducting the sweep:_________________________________________ Start time:_________ Site name:________________________________________________________ Site code:_________ How many lids did you stencil?:_________________________________________________________
Did you undertake a letter drop?:_________ If Yes, How many letters did you distribute?:___________ Any other comments?:________________________________________________________________
Don’t forget to enter your results online at www.nrmeducation.net.au - Engaging with Nature - send us your data 9 Design Your Own Drain Stencilling Flyers Design your own flyers outlining the impacts of stormwater pollution on our waterways.
Decorate one side of your flyer with animals that can be affected by stormwater pollution, such as fish, frogs or dolphins.
On the other side include key messages such as
• Have you seen stencils on our local stormwater drains?
• Water flowing down stormwater drains travels to the nearest creek, river or directly to the sea. Stormwater is not treated by the sewerage system.
• Keeping our roads and road-sides pollution free helps stop pollution travelling to our waterways.
• Pollution in our waterways affects all of us, including aquatic plants and animals that depend on clean water for survival.
• These simple steps will help improve the health of our environment.
• Sweep up leaves, grass clippings, bark and other garden waste and compost it or, if applicable put it in the council green waste bin.
• Recycle all litter or put it in the bin
• Wash your car on the lawn or at a car wash, not on the road or driveway.
• Sweep up sand, soil, gravel or any other building materials.
• Pick up your dog’s poo and bury it in the garden or bin it.
• Fix oil and radiator leaks on your vehicle and catch any excess oil using drip trays.
• Dispose of chemicals properly, never let chemicals wash or spill into stormwater drains. Chemicals include oil, detergents, paint, pesticides, fertilizers, pool chemicals or any other household products.
10 11 12 Spreading the Message Promoting drain stencilling achievements through the media Promoting your drain stencilling achievements through the media allows for greater awareness raising of stormwater pollution issues and can give your group greater acknowledgement and sense of achievement. The most popular places to send your media releases include your local Messenger and a variety of community newsletters.
You can use the template on the following page as a guide.
When submitting a press release to the Messenger:
• Give your local Messenger a call at least 1 week before the arranged stencilling event (look under ‘M’ for Messenger in the “White Pages”).
• Have a chat with the journalist:
• Briefly tell them about the drain stencilling program
• Give details of the location, time and date that the activity will take place
• Ask whether their photographer is able to take photos of the drain stencilling activity
• Ask for their fax number so you can fax them a copy of the press release.
• The Messenger rarely uses photographs taken by the general public. If they have arranged for their professional photographer to take photos of your group drain
stencilling, make sure that:
• Permission has been granted by parents/guardians of students before students pictures are taken
• The photographer is notified about any venue, time changes or cancellations.
• Don’t take it personally if the Messenger doesn’t publish your article. It depends on luck with timing and other priority material for that edition.
Dolphins are stencilled around (suburb name) in a bid to increase awareness and reduce the amount of stormwater pollution entering our local creeks and eventually the ocean.