Campaign to cut blockages

Scottish Water has launched its biggest ever awareness campaign to highlight the impact of what Scots put down their sinks and toilets – and Dumfries and Galloway residents are being asked to do their bit.

A six-week national television campaign has been launched which aims to reduce sewer blockages in Dumfries and Galloway by promoting how to dispose of fats and bathroom waste.

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

A dedicated web presence has been created at where customers can get more information. People 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.

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

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

“Sewer blockages have a major cost and labour impact. Around 80 percent of sewer chokes are avoidable as they are caused by items such as wipes, nappies, sanitary items and foreign 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 TV with the aim of reducing the call-outs our team have to perform to clear choked sewers and drains.”

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 Britain.