Plea to keep water flowing

Scottish Water is asking its customers to help it prevent blockages, such as this one, in the drainage and sewer network. Obstructions cost the company millions of pounds every year to clear.

Scottish Water is asking its customers to help it prevent blockages, such as this one, in the drainage and sewer network. Obstructions cost the company millions of pounds every year to clear.

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Scottish Water is renewing calls for customers to help keep the water cycle running and prevent blockages in the drainage system.

The company launched a national campaign almost a 18 months ago to highlight the problem of people putting the wrong things down their sinks and toilets but of the 37,000 blockages in the drain and sewer network attended last year by Scottish Water, around 80 per cent were down to this.

Bathroom waste such as personal cleansing and baby wipes, cotton buds and nappies being flushed down toilets, coupled with cooking fat, oils and grease poured down the kitchen sink, can collect and create a blockage of material and solidified fat.

This cannot break down easily like toilet paper and collects in large clumps leading to the misery of flooding of properties across the country, leaving householders and communities with the hassle and expense of repairing damaged property and sometimes resulting in pollution to local rivers and burns.

While things have improved, the company is keen to keep the message in the public eye and encourage people to change their habits by disposing of kitchen and bathroom waste responsibly and by saving water.

The message is to bag and bin sanitary items while fats, oils and grease should be left to cool and either placed in a suitable container and placed in the bin or recycled.

To that end it has launched a seven-week national TV, radio and digital advertising campaign, backed by regional campaigns, with Customer Contact Centre worker, Claire Wilson as ‘the voice’ of Scottish Water.

Chris Wallace, Director of Communications at Scottish Water, said: “We are committed to reducing the impact of sewer blockages which can cause misery and flooding for our customers across Scotland.

“Our motivation for this campaign comes from the fact that such a large percentage of sewer chokes are entirely avoidable as they are caused by items such as wipes, nappies and sanitary items as well as fats, oils and grease being put down toilets and sinks.”

“We hope to help inform and educate our customers and to make this information as accessible as possible.

“This will be achieved not only via our TV, radio and social media presence but on a real community level through local staff delivering the message to schools and our partnerships with, amongst others, local authorities and the NHS.”

“The message for customers is to put all bathroom waste items in the bin, and fats, oils and grease should be left to cool, placed in a suitable container and then either recycled or put in the bin.

“We are also encouraging everyone to turn off the tap while they are brushing their teeth as a running tap can use between two and 26 litres of water a minute.

“Although Scotland has plentiful resources of raw water, the treatment and distribution of water is very energy intensive and heating water in the home counts for a sizeable share of energy use. By using less water you can save money so it makes good sense for our customers to use water wisely.”

To see Scottish Water’s campaign TV adverts, visit the companys YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/scottishwaterfilm.

Customers can also learn more about what they can do to keep the water cycle running, what should not be flushed down toilets or poured down sinks and how they can save their drains, protect their homes, their neighbours’ homes and the local environment by loggin on to the company’s website at www.scottishwater.co.uk/cycle