Mother of all Clean Ups a raging success

The Christchurch West Melton Water Zone Committee is celebrating the success of the 2020 Mother of All Clean Ups competition, which received more than 200 entries during lockdown.

Stormwater management is a key focus for the committee, with the annual competition being held a little differently this year.

Lockdown regulations meant an online competition was organised by Evan Smith of the Avon/Ōtākaro Network in place of the usual community event.

Hundreds of people sent entries in after checking the material their roof was made of, whether their gutters were clear and where they wash their car, among other things.

It was great to see how much everyone knew about how they could reduce their impact on our waterways, and we were also able to identify areas where we need to raise more awareness.

Raising roof awareness

More than half of those who took part in the competition were confident that their roof material was safe for our stormwater drains.

Zinc and copper are metals that can harm our waterways and the risk is usually higher with older rooves. If metals are running off a roof, it's likely to need reconditioning or replacing.

There is innovation happening in this space though, such as the award-winning Storminator, which aims to reduce contaminants entering waterways from roofing. This invention was created by a team at the University of Canterbury, including engineering academics and students. It is exciting to see locals working hard on such innovative solutions.

Keeping the lawn wet

Over a quarter of people who took part in the competition also said that they washed their cars on the driveway or roadside.

Where possible, we encourage you to wash your car on the lawn or grass verge. The soil filters out any potential pollution before the water reaches our local waterways.

Taking your car to a professional car wash could be another potential option. Car washes are required to send their washwater to the Council’s wastewater networks. The water is treated first, then released back into the environment via the sea.

Thanks from the Committee

We would like to thank everyone who entered. Thinking about ways to keep our fish, plant, and invertebrate life healthy and thriving is paramount to the health of our waterways and wider environment.

Congratulations to the 20 winners and thanks to all the community groups who collaborated to put on a great online event:

  • Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai Trust
  • Avon/Ōtākaro Network
  • Ōpāwaho Heathcote River Network
  • Conservation Volunteers New Zealand
  • Cassels Brewing Co.
  • Citycare Water, and
  • Drinkable Rivers NZ.

Find out more