A campaign urging customers to think before they flush has been crowned the winner of the Institute of Water National Innovation Award.
After winning the Institute of Water’s South West Area Innovation Award earlier this year, South West Water’s Love Your Loo campaign went on to represent the South West at the Institute of Water National Innovation Awards in Glasgow this week.
The campaign beat five other regional finalists to clinch the coveted national title.
The judges were particularly impressed by the evidence that demonstrated the Love Your Loo campaign, which encourages customers to flush only the 3Ps – pee, paper and poo, has successfully reduced the number of blockages and floodings on the sewer network.
Sir Brian Bender, Chairman of Water UK and Head of the judging panel, said: “The panel were particularly impressed with the strength of the submissions and it was so encouraging to see the breadth of innovations that are taking place across the water sector.
“The panel were unanimous in their view that the innovation from South West Water tackled a very current and complex issue but did so through simplifying the responsibility of the customer.
“Innovation often doesn’t need huge financial investment but can be about the use of different ways of delivering and tactics to encourage massive change.”
The Institute of Water National Innovation Awards celebrates some of the most innovative individuals and companies from within the UK water and wastewater sector. Each year, each Area of the Institute holds a regional innovation competition and the finalists from each are short-listed for the National Award.
Anna Hopwood, South West Water’s Head of Waste Water – Customer Service and Networks, said: “Our innovative Love Your Loo campaign goes from strength to strength, thanks to support from our customers.
“It costs us and our customers £4.5million each year to clear around 8,500 blockages on the sewerage network. About 65% of these blockages are caused by baby wipes, hygiene wipes, moist toilet tissue, cleaning wipes, cleansing pads and sanitary products being flushed down the toilet.
“The campaign is simple – encouraging customers to flush only pee, paper and poo – but effective. Customers are playing their part and have helped us achieve our lowest ever level of sewer flooding which is fantastic. To win a prestigious national industry award is the icing on the cake.”
The Love Your Loo campaign, which launched in 2015, also won three Chartered Institute of Public Relations Pride Awards in 2016 and was also shortlisted for the Community Project of the Year at the Water Industry Achievement Awards 2017.
Learn more about the Love Your Loo campaign at www.southwestwater.co.uk/loveyourloo
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