The National Water Week poster competition is on again and TasWater is asking primary school aged students from across Tasmania to get out your pencils, paints, computers and crayons and get an entry in. Prizes this year include iPad minis as well as other great prizes for both students and their schools. Each year, National Water Week events and promotions across Australia encourage individuals, communities and organisations to work together to build community awareness and understanding around water and sewerage issues.

TasWater’s Education Officer Kate Beard says “every year students present a whole range of really impressive posters, all taking a fun and creative approach to the role water plays in our everyday lives.” The theme this year for Tasmania is ‘Can’t flush this!’ and we want everyone to think about, some of the stuff which shouldn’t be disposed of in the sewerage system.

“This year the theme fits into an important message TasWater wants to alert the community to and that is the impact many items or substances can have on infrastructure, people and the environment when not disposed of correctly.” “One of the worst offenders are wet wipes. Although sold as flushable, they take a very long time to disintegrate and are regularly the culprit in creating a blockage in the system.

Just because something physically can be flushed, does not mean that it should be flushed.” Wet wipes that do make it to a sewage treatment plant, are removed by a screening process and taken to landfill.

“Wet wipes also contribute to blockages in sewer mains. Between January-March this year our emergency repair crews had to clear 417 sewer blockages across the state potentially costing $41,000.”

Cooking oil washed down the sink can also cause problems, combining with other fat and oils in the sewer pipe forming what are called fatbergs, which can also cause blockages.

Students can get started on their posters during the holidays, or teachers can get their whole classes involved during Term 3.

There are four categories for the poster competition; prep, grade one and two, grade three and four, and grade five and six with each category’s first prize winner being presented with an iPad mini 16GB tablet at one of the poster exhibitions during National Water Week in October.

And the first prize winner’s school doesn’t miss out either with a water themed book pack being presented to the school library.

The poster competition is now open and students can prepare their posters on an A3 size piece of paper and forward it to TasWater by Monday 11 September.

More information about the competition can be found on the TasWater website …—Environment/Poster-Competition