Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT September 2019

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 16 of 47

www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | XXXX 20XX | 17 The Works W hile Southern Water has had to contend with negative headlines in recent times over its pollution performance, the company is making real progress in its work to bring about reductions in sewer blockages. The FOG and Un• ushables project, named Drainage & Flood Management Initiative of the Year at the 2019 Water Industry Awards, is a wide-ranging educational and behavioural change programme that is having a major impact www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 17 on the health of the region's wastewater networks. The project got underway in 2015 a‰ er the company analysed the data on the 23,000 blockages it had been experiencing each year and realised 65 per cent were being caused by fat, oil and grease (FOG) as well as wet wipes, sanitary items and small bathroom objects. "Sewer blockages cause a lot of problems for our customers but we realised that nearly two-thirds of them were caused by human behaviour, which meant they could be avoided," Elvira Gabos, the company's FOG and Un• ushables manager, says. "Because of this, we set up FOG and Un• ushables as an educational and proactive sewer maintenance project. This was new territory for us." Southern Water began targeting two groups: domestic customers and food service establishments (FSEs). For domestic customers, the company Southern Water's FOG and Unfl ushables programme has brought a signifi cant improvement in the state of its sewers. Robin Hackett hears how the company has gone about educating customers and food service establishments in the fi ght to keep its networks clear Flushed with success Stephen Williams, network protection and enforcement offi cer at Southern Water, helps food service establishments understand the importance of grease management SEWER NETWORKS

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