Flushing out bad habits

Scottish Water has launched the latest phase of a new campaign aimed at reducing sewer blockages with a specific focus on bathroom waste.
Scottish Water has launched the latest phase of a new campaign aimed at reducing sewer blockages with a specific focus on bathroom waste.

Last year there were almost 400 drain blockages in Hawick and Galashiels alone and Borders residents are being asked to re-think their bathroom habits.

Scottish Water say only three things should be flushed down the toilet - pee, poo and toilet paper. Everything else should be put in a waste bin says the company’s ‘Keep the water cycle running smoothly’ campaign.

Hawick and Galashiels sewer networks were found to have the most blockages in 2015 with 263 and 119 respectively.

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 resulted from inappropriate items being flushed down sinks and toilets.

Scott Fraser, campaign manager at Scottish Water, said: “The majority of sewer blockages are entirely avoidable as they are caused by items such as wipes, nappies and sanitary items being put down toilets.

“The waste water drain which runs from your house to the public sewer is usually only about four inches wide, which is less than the diameter of a DVD.

“This drain is designed to take only the used water from sinks, showers and baths and pee, poo and toilet paper (the three ps), from the toilet.

“The message for customers is to put all bathroom waste items in the bin.

“We are committed to reducing the impact of sewer blockages and the misery of sewer flooding which can be caused in homes, businesses and in streets.

“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.

Scottish Water volunteers carry out beach cleans and will be visiting coastal towns and village as part of this campaign.