Scottish Water reinforces message to customers to
‘help keep the water cycle running’

1 a 1 a scottish water logo

It’s been almost a year and a half since Scottish Water launched its national campaign to urge customers to help keep the water cycle running and put an end to the high number of blockages caused by people putting the wrong things down their sinks and toilets.

Approximately 37,000 blockages in Scotland’s drains and sewer network last year were attended by Scottish Water and around 80 per cent of these are caused by people putting the wrong things down their sinks and toilets.

Bathroom waste items 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 can’t break down easily like toilet paper and collects in large clumps beneath Scotland’s streets 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.

This phase of the campaign sees the utility targeting the message at customers in Inverness, Dingwall and Thurso. These locations will provide a hub for the campaign in the Highlands and have been selected as key areas that are amongst some of the worst in Scotland for blocked pipes.

We have previously run campaigns in the other identified blockage hotspots of Dunfermline, Hamilton, Dumfries and Stirling where we have been seeing a significant drop in the number of customers contacting us about blockages caused by wipes.

While things may have improved in these areas we are looking to keep the message out there and encourage people to change their habits by disposing of kitchen and bathroom waste responsibly and by saving water.

Monday February 16 marks the beginning of our seven-week national TV , radio and digital advertising campaign, backed by the regional campaigns, and our very own Customer Contact Centre worker, Claire Wilson, has a starring role 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 Scottish Water’s YouTube channel

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, their neighbours’ homes and the local environment at www.scottishwater.co.uk/cycle

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