Keep it Clear Programme – Anglian Water & SAVS

Keep it Clear Programme – Anglian Water & SAVS

Southend Association of Voluntary Services and Anglian Water’s Keep It Clear programme have teamed up again to help create awareness of a new project in the town and surrounding areas to help protect our environment from pollution.

Many tonnes of waste which should not be flushed down loos or poured down sinks are being taken out of around 80km of sewers in Southend and the surrounding area as a result of the project, called Flush to Treatment (F2T).

The project has involved an initial investigation of the condition of the pipes from homes and businesses all the way to the water recycling centre where the used water and sewage is treated. Jetter trucks have been brought in to suck out the waste, some of which is almost as hard as concrete, transport it away from the area, analyse it and dispose of it safely.

Once the F2T teams have finished the mammoth clearing and cleaning operation, additional CCTV surveys of the network will be performed, and sensors will be used to make sure it is running as it should. Any repairs required will be carried out to ensure the town’s sewer network is running to its optimum performance.

We have been promoting the need now for a number of years to ensure that all wipes and sanitary products (the unflushables) are placed in a bin and not flushed down the loo. It is only the 3ps which should ever be flushed, poo, pee and paper (toilet paper). Also, food scraps, fats, oil and grease should never be poured down kitchen sink plugholes. When they mix in the sewer pipes with the unflushables,  they cause a hazardous combination and are not only responsible for 80 per cent of blockages, but are also the most likely cause of a sewage pollution incident. We know that lots of people have already started to change habits and behaviours to ensure these items do not harm our local environment, but they are still causing a potential hazard. Anglian Water clears 40,000 blockages a year across the region, 80% of which are avoidable costing around £19million a year.

Over the forthcoming months we shall be creating opportunities to promote awareness of the issues and how we can work together to enable the sewer network to get on and do its just of protecting our public health. Responsible use of our loos and disposing of food scraps, fats, oils and grease in a food caddy or recycling in a garden food digester, or for conversion into bio-fuel, will make a real difference to the flow in the sewers and help prevent blockages and flooding, particularly in times of heavy rainfall.

Look out for information on reusable alternatives to disposable wipes and sanitary products and also details on garden food digesters which will help condition the soil in your flower beds and vegetable plots. If you take your used cooking oil to the local recycling plants, pick up a free funnel, while stocks last. The funnels fit on top of bottles and will help to pour used oil from pans when cooled. We will give tips on how to avoid food scraps, fats, oils and grease going down the sink too and let you know how Anglian Water is also working with food serving establishments in the town including takeways, restaurants and pubs all to help our environment.

Jamie Langstone