Working in partnership with Anglian Water

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CAN is working with Anglian Water’s Keep It Clear campaign to raise awareness with consumers and householders of the damage, cost and distress that blockages can cause – and how to prevent them happening.

One of the biggest causes of blockages in pipes from toilets and sinks is wet-wipes, followed by fats, oils and grease. Even products marked ‘flushable’ don’t break down in the sewer.  More than half the 30,000 sewer blockages in the Anglian Water region are caused by ‘unflushables’ going down the kitchen sink or toilet.

It’s not just household sewers that get blocked. Pumping stations act like the heart of the sewer system, transporting used water and sewage to treatment works to be filtered and cleaned. Mains blockages can back up into homes and businesses, causing river and waterway pollution and harming the environment. The cumulative effect amounts to 362,000 blockages a year, costing around £80 million to repair. 70% of these are avoidable and we need to change our waste disposal habits.

  • Wet wipes are often claimed to be flushable – they’re not!
  • Fat and small amounts of cooking oil soaked in newspaper or kitchen towel can go in the general or food waste bin. Large amounts should be taken to household waste recycling centres.
  • Food waste can be composted. It should never go down the sink.
  • Cotton wool, buds, sanitary towels, tampons, nappies, incontinence pads, condoms, plastics - all should go in the bin.

CAN staff will be delivering the message in the King’s Lynn and Norwich areas initially, moving to Great Yarmouth later in the year.  Residents in Keep it Clear communities have been able to reduce blockages by an average of 52%, helping keep the water flowing and the sewer system clear. Watch Lottie’s video blog by clicking here. Programme Manager Collette Parker said: “With the help of residents, tenants and communities in general, we can make a difference and keep the sewer system clear to do its job of taking used water safely away from our homes and businesses.”

If you are a community group, a school, part of a residents group or have a slot available you want to fill we would be happy to talk to you about delivering the Keep it Clear message.  Contact John Spratling at john.spratling@communityactionnorfolk.org.uk or call us on 01362 698216.