VOLUNTEERS have been playing their part in keeping the waterways free of harmful substances with distinctive yellow labels.

Staff from Thames Water recently joined forces with the Action for the River Kennet (ARK) environmental group.

The team attached around 160 of the bright labels on drains at the Kennet Island development and nearby industrial estate.

The Yellow Fish project is designed to remind residents that the drains are only meant for rainwater.

Neeti Bindra, Thames Water’s volunteering coordinator, said: “Through our Time to Give initiative, which allows our staff two days a year to leave behind the day job and volunteer for good causes, we support a number of projects which tie in closely with our priorities to protect and enhance the environment.

"The Yellow Fish project is a perfect example as having clean and healthy waterways enables us to continue to supply top quality drinking water to our customers.”

This scheme was launched by ARK in February, thanks to funding from the Environment Agency.

Martin Kent, from ARK, added: “ARK hopes to engage and raise awareness with local communities and businesses in order to spread the message that it should be only rain down the drain.”

There have been six of these events to date and more than 700 drains now have the eye-catching label.