Scottish Water Campaign to Help keep Scotland’s Beaches Beautiful

People’s thoughts often turn to days out at the seaside and the outdoors over the summer months, so it’s the perfect time for Scottish Water to launch a new phase of the Keep the Cycle Running campaign to remind customers about the potential impact of flushing inappropriate items like wipes and cotton buds and what they can do to help the keep the cycle running smoothly.


The famous Scottish coastline – and how we can all play our part to help keep it clean – is a specific focus of the next phase of this nationwide Scottish Water campaign.


The campaign will include a mix of nationwide TV, radio and digital/social advertising, and will address how what we flush down toilets or pour down kitchen sinks can create blockages in drains and sewers, and can also affect the cleanliness of the nation’s beaches.


Scott Fraser, Campaign Manager at Scottish Water, said: “Our national Keep the Cycle Running campaign will continue to build on the positive impact we have already seen from our customers responding to our campaign advice on how to reduce blockages.


“”Our advertising campaign combined with educational visits to primary schools and other work in local communities, have already contributed to a reduction in the number of reported blocked drains and sewers to Scottish Water, however we can’t be complacent as there is still a big problem.


“We believe the best way to tackle blocked drains and sewer flooding is to work together with our customers across the country and do simple things which can help ensure we can all enjoy our beautiful coastline to its full potential.”


On average, Scottish Water attends over 100 blocked drains each day – with over 80 per cent entirely avoidable – as they are caused by inappropriate items flushed down toilets and poured down sinks.


Scott added: “In some circumstances this issue can affect Scotland’s beaches and coastal environment. We at Scottish Water are determined to do all we can to protect and enhance Scotland’s natural environment.”


Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland, Marine Conservation Scotland, said:


“Flushed wet wipes are a real nightmare. They can block sewers causing everything that has been flushed down the loo to either back up into people’s homes, or overflow into rivers and seas.”


Over 2000 wet wipes were found on Scotland’s beaches during the Great British Beach Clean week in 2015*, with some surveys reporting as many as 100 wipes found in a 100m stretch of beach! The campaign aims to help make people stop and think about their actions and help prevent the issues occurring in the first place.


Flushing bathroom waste items such as personal cleansing and baby wipes, cotton buds and nappies down toilets, coupled with pouring cooking fat, oils and grease down the kitchen sink, can collect and create a blockage of material and solidified fat that can’t break down easily. This collects in large clumps in our sewers and can lead to the misery of sewer flooding of homes, businesses and streets in local communities, and can also result in the pollution of local rivers, burns, coastal waters and beaches.


Scottish Water works in local communities across Scotland every day of the year, and part of this campaign will also call on customers to check our photo ID and follow our Three C’s rule: Card-Check-Call, to help reduce the instances of doorstep crime committed by bogus callers. .


There will be additional messages which will promote simple but effective tips to use water wisely in and around the home that save water and energy and help protect the natural environment.


Customers can learn more about what they can do to keep the cycle running by visiting www.scottishwater.co.uk/cycle.

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


Scottish Water’s website has dedicated pages, modules and activities to download at www.scottishwater.co.uk/education which support learning and teaching for the school curriculum in Scotland.

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