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Anglian Water clear drain campaign

Challenge

Influence consumers to avoid actions that block drainage systems.

Problem

Sewer systems are repeatedly blocked because of items disposed by consumers, with which drains are not designed to cope. Waste oil as well as materials such as baby wipes that don’t break up quickly in water lead to blockages. These can back up, causing problems for households as well as overflows into natural water systems, resulting in contamination. Even without blockages, such materials make treating wastewater more difficult.

Solution

Such blockages were costing Anglian Water alone £7 million a year, so they began looking at creative ways to engage the public and businesses to deal with the root cause of the problem. Following research into why people disposed of waste this way it launched its Keep it Clear campaign, with tailored information discouraging unhelpful practices. In addition it gave out free sink strainers to stop food waste going down the drain. The campaign trial was a success and is being rolled out further.

Benefits

Blockages cut by over 80% in Peterborough trial
Low-cost approach to dealing with cause rather than expensively reacting to the problem symptoms

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