The Crane Valley Partnership
« Back to Latest News
Posted by Ilse Steyl Posted on 2014-09-22

Sewer blockages - Thames Water Campaign starting 22 September

Thames Water will begin a public information campaign on Monday, 22 Sepetmber, to raise awareness of sewer blockages and how they can be avoided.

Richard Aylard, Thames Water's External Affairs and Sustainability Director, noted that, as many people are aware, London has a major problem with sewer blockages.  The main cause is leftover cooking fat being poured down sinks and combining with plastic wet wipes and other materials flushed down toilets to create ‘fatbergs’.  These solid masses restrict the flow of wastewater pipes and can cause sewage to back up across roads, gardens and even into homes.  

In the past five years more than 18,000 homes and gardens have been flooded because of avoidable sewer blockages across the Thames Water region.

Blocked sewers and pumps have also been a contributory factor in numerous pollutions of rivers and streams, and in the contamination of public open spaces.  More information can be found on the Thames Water website.

The campaign will focus on the following hotspots where blockage rates are higher than average:

  • Harrow
  • Hounslow
  • Ealing
  • Richmond
  • Brent
  • Barnet
  • Hillingdon

They will be using billboard advertising, bus stop posters, social media and publicity through local media channels to raise awareness of the problem and explain what residents can do to stop the misery that stems from sewer blockages.  Thames Water have also been engaging customers at community events and this will continue at train stations and shopping centres throughout the campaign.

Two sample billboard adverts can be viewed below. Although the campaign will not be to everyone's taste, the images have been directed by focus group findings with customers.  They felt that the images needed to be attention grabbing and the text should make the issue personal.

Anything you can do to help us spread the message would, of course, be much appreciated.

This is very much a first step and plans are being developed for taking the campaign to the Thames Valley.