Anglian Water is encouraging Great Yarmouth residents to join in the fight against sewer blockages, which can exacerbate drainage issues, caused by putting the wrong things down sinks and toilets.
Letters are being sent out to six thousand residents across Great Yarmouth, Southtown and Cobholm offering advice on ways to dispose of sanitary products, nappies and wipes as well as fats, oils and greases left over from cooking.
Given its low-lying area, Great Yarmouth's sewers rely on over 80 pumping stations to pump sewage and surface water through the sewer network to the treatment works. The job of these pumps is often made more difficult by blockages caused by inappropriate items being disposed of in the sewers and drains.
While the recent flooding in some parts of the town was the result of extreme amounts of rainfall in a very short period of time, steps businesses and residents can take to ensure pumps and sewers are working as they are designed to will help make sure flooding is less likely in future.
The ‘Keep It Clear’ campaign team will be working with Voluntary Norfolk to remind residents not to use the toilet as a wet dustbin. At the same time, restaurants, pubs, takeaways and catering businesses are being reminded to dispose of fats, oils and greases and food waste legally using a registered waste collection service.
A pilot scheme in Peterborough last year resulted in a 78% reduction in sewer blockages.
Paul Gibbs, Anglian Water’s Director of Wastewater, said: “We’ve had a very positive response to the campaign so far and are very grateful to both the local council and residents of Great Yarmouth for helping us to prevent sewer blockages in this way.
“By not putting things like food, fats and wipes down our sinks and loos, we can all help avoid blocked pipes, and the sewer flooding, pollution and bad smells that can result.
“Many people already do the right thing; recycling used cooking oil and food waste where possible and placing sanitary products and wipes in the bin.
“Clearing sewer blockages costs a huge amount of time and money, which could be better spent on improving the services we provide to customers.”