Yellow Fish – Waddesdon & Quainton

Yellow fish sticker marking a road drain, drains that are directly connected with watercourses. 

This community project aims to raise awareness of water pollution issues, and to tackle diffuse pollution coming from the villages of Waddesdon and Quainton. It has one simple and clear message; only rain down the drain!

Road and surface water drains carry water straight to nearby rivers and streams. Pouring pollutants down them is like pouring them directly into a watercourse where they can have a devastating impact on wildlife. Sadly it only takes a little pollution to harm wildlife and substances such as soap, oil, paint, cleaning products and litter can have a huge impact. The oil from one car can pollute an area the size of two football pitches.

Project objectives

  • Raise awareness of the sources of pollution and how to prevent pollution incidents taking place with households, businesses and schools.
  • With the help of volunteers mark all the road drain across Waddesdon and Quainton with yellow fish markers to highlight these key pathways to local streams.

Call for volunteers

We’ll be looking for volunteers to help us leaflet and, very importantly, to mark up road drains with yellow fish markers.

Can you join us for any of the following dates? If so please contact project officer Hannah (, 07460 275627) for more info.

Member of the Watlington Environment Group sticking a yellow fish marker next to a road drain. 


  • 10:00 – 12:00, Saturday 7th March
  • 13:00 – 15:00, Tuesday 24th March
  • 13:00 – 15:00, Saturday 28th March


  • 10:00 – 12:00, Thursday 12th March
  • 13:00 – 15:00, Thursday 26th March
  • 10:00 – 12:00, Saturday 28th March

Following these steps will ensure you protect your local streams from pollution:

  • Only ever pour rainwater down road or surface water drains. 
  • Get your car washed at a profession car wash facility. Professional licenced facilities will have appropriate drainage that will take waste water for treatment before it is discharged into a river or stream. Be careful of pop up car washes as they often won’t have appropriate drainage and could be polluting local streams.
  • Store oil, petrol, diesel and chemicals away from surface water drains or ditches which will connect with a local watercourse. Just one small spill could kill off kilometres of freshwater insects and fish.
  • Ensure household drains are connected correctly. Make sure all your waste water drains connect to the sewer, not to surface water drains such as your guttering, as this can carry harmful pollutants directly to a watercourse. To check if you’re connected right please visit:
  • Connect your rain guttering to a soak away, water butt or flower bed, rather than the sewer. During heavy rain and storms sewage treatment works can become overloaded as clean rain water from roofs flows down the sewer unnecessarily filling up their storm tanks. If the tanks become full the works will release untreated or partially treated sewage into a river or stream. Preventing rain water going down your sewer can also get you a discount on your water bill! You just need to send photos to Thames Water showing you have done this.

Key pollutants that should never go down a road or surface water drain:

  • Oil (i.e. engine, cooking)
  • Cleaning products (i.e. bleach, surface cleaner)
  • Paint
  • Garden chemicals (pesticides, weed killer, fertiliser)
  • Milk and fizzy drinks
  • Pet waste
  • Medication

Yellow fish leaflet

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