Campaign to keep sewers clear

Wet wipes are just one of the items that can cause blockages.
Wet wipes are just one of the items that can cause blockages.

Scottish Water is still dealing with almost 100 blocked drains and sewers daily, despite a drop in blockages over the last three years.

Figure released by the water authority reveal a drop of 11 per cent in that time, falling from 39,792 in 2013 to 35,473 in 2016, but more people are being urged to help tackle the problem.

Around 80 per cent of call-outs are avoidable and caused by people putting the wrong things down their sinks and toilets.

Scottish Water has launched the latest phase of its campaign, ‘Keep the water cycle running smoothly’, with a combination of nationwide television, radio and digital/social media advertising. The campaign highlights the damage that can be caused by people wrongly disposing of fats, oils and grease down sinks and bathroom items such as wipes and cotton buds down toilets.

Such materials can collect in large clumps in Scottish Water’s 31,621 miles of sewers and waste water pipes, often creating blockages which can lead to sewer flooding in properties with all the hassle and expense of repairing damaged property and items making their way into rivers and onto beaches and impacting on the environment.

Scott Fraser, campaign manager, said: “We believe for effective change we need to campaign at multiple levels. Our national advertising is aimed directly at customers and we use education to inform young people about their role.

“We are also working closely with colleagues across the water industry to educate and influence manufacturers and retailers, which has seen some real progress in the last year.”

Customers can learn more about what they can do to keep the cycle running, what should not be flushed down toilets or poured down sinks and how they can save their drains, protect their homes and the environment at www.scottishwater.co.uk/cycle