New UK campaign urges public to help prevent flooding

BRADFORD, England, Oct. 1, 2009 -- A new public information campaign launched today in the UK is urging the public to stop putting unwanted items down the sewer...

Pennwell web 300 258
Pennwell web 300 258
Congealed fat builds up in sewers and can cause properties to flood.

BRADFORD, England, Oct. 1, 2009 -- A new public information campaign launched today (Thursday October 1), is urging the public to stop putting unwanted items down the sewer.

Each year 75 per cent of all sewer blockages in England and Wales are caused because of people mistakenly disposing of items down drains or sewers and half of all flooding incidents are caused by these blockages.

Research conducted by Yorkshire Water highlighted that nearly 40% of people dispose of fat, oils and grease by flushing it down the sink while nearly a quarter of all people think its okay to put items like cotton buds, nappies or sanitary products down the toilet.

The initiative which is part of Yorkshire Water's Bin It Don't Flush It campaign, uses an animated film and a character called Numptee to communicate the consequences of putting nasty things like nappies and fat down the sewers. Numptee disposes of his unwanted items down the sewer or the sink and watches his home flood with sewage.

"We are seeing more and more flooding in the UK caused by extreme weather and the effects of this can be much worse if sewers are blocked by fat or nappies," said Trevor Birch network asset manager at Yorkshire Water.

"Fat, nappies and wipes were last year responsible for 30% of internal flooding cases in Yorkshire. This campaign is about highlighting the consequences of these actions in a light hearted way, and letting our customers know that they can play their part in preventing flooding."

Last year Yorkshire Water cleared around 20,000 blockages from the sewers in the region and 50 per cent of these were caused by people putting the wrong things down the drains.

The company has also been playing its part and has invested GBP200m in its network to reduce the risk of flooding and plans to invest a further GBP100m over the next five years.

To see what a sewer blocked with fat, nappies and other disgusting items looks like visit http://www.yorkshirewater.com/binit where you can also find some useful information on how best to get rid of your unwanted items.

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