Borderers’ help sought to reduce sewer flooding

Pic Lisa McPhillips 09/09/2013'Raw Sewage runs down Bluebell Path in Cumbernauld Village
Pic Lisa McPhillips 09/09/2013'Raw Sewage runs down Bluebell Path in Cumbernauld Village

Scottish Water has launched its biggest ever awareness campaign to highlight the costly impact of what we put down our sinks and toilet.

And residents in the Scottish Borders are being asked to do their bit.

A new six week national television campaign has been launched which aims to reduce sewer blockages in the Borders by promoting how to dispose of fats and bathroom waste properly .

The message for customers is to bag it and bin it with sanitary items, and for fats oils and grease they should be left to cool and either placed in a suitable container (like an empty milk carton) and then placed in the bin or ideally recycled if possible.

A dedicated web presence has been created at where customers can get more information about how they can do their bit.

Customers can also make an online pledge that they will follow the advice in order to protect the environment and reduce the risk of sewer flooding.

Nationally Scottish Water spends £7million a year clearing around 45,000 blockages from the sewer network, and 80 per cent are caused by household waste that should go in the bin.

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

“Sewer blockages have a major cost and labour impact on our business. Around 80 per cent of sewer chokes are easily avoidable as they are caused by items such as wipes, disposable nappies, sanitary items and objects such as cotton buds.

“Fats, oils and grease also contribute in a large way towards these blockages.

“For the first time we will be speaking to customers in every home in Scotland through a national advertising campaign on television with the aim of reducing the call-outs our team have to perform to clear choked sewers and drains.

“Our aim is that these pilots will identify successful activities that will influence customer behaviour. This will then be the model we use to communicate this message across all of Scotland.”

Reducing blockages would not only protect customers from the extremely unpleasant internal flooding or environmental pollution that can result from a choked sewer – it would also help Scottish Water continue to keep average customer charges the lowest in Great Britain and free up funds for investment.