School children raise awareness of Stop the Block for a flood-free Wirral

A campaign to reduce sewer blockages across the Wirral has been a huge success, with a 94% reduction in unflushables and dozens of school children doing their bit to help Stop the Block.

United Utilities launched the Wirral Working Together campaign to encourage residents in Moreton and Greasby to Stop the Block and think twice about what they are flushing down their toilets and pouring down their sinks.

As a result, there has been a 94% reduction in unflushables found in the sewers of Moreton and Greasby since the campaign began in February, massively reducing the risk of blockages and future flooding.

Playing a huge part in the campaign are twelve-year-old Charlotte Bithell, from Bebington and Lucy O’Keeffe, 10, from Moreton, who won the United Utilities competition to share the Stop the Block message and help educate the next generation.

Charlotte, who is in Year 7 at Wirral Grammar School for Girls, was named the winner of the secondary school writing competition for her newspaper article encouraging people to get behind the campaign and become Wet Wipe Warriors.

Charlotte said: “I entered the competition after our own toilet was blocked and I researched why this happens – I was shocked to see what some people will flush! I’ve always loved writing and I’m so happy to win this competition.”

Lucy, who attends Lingham Primary school, was chosen as the winner of a primary school poster competition for her creation of the ‘flush fairy’ who uses her magical powers to stop the wrong things going into the sewers in order to prevent costly flooding.

Lucy said: “I entered the competition because I love drawing and our class have been learning about the environment, the world we live in and how we manage wastewater. I’m surprised and shocked to be the winner, my family are very proud of me.”

Councillor Liz Grey, who is chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee and is supporting the campaign, judged the poster competition.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be supporting the Wirral Working Together campaign. The personal and environmental impact of blocked sewers can be devastating, and anyone can be guilty of not knowing what we can and can’t flush down our drains. This is a timely reminder for all of us!”

Catherine Booth, marketing and campaigns manager at United Utilities, said: “We are thrilled to see such a significant reduction of unflushables in the sewers of Moreton and Greasby since we started this campaign. This is all down to the support of local people who have done their bit to look after their pipes and drains at home and in doing so protect the area they live in.”

The campaign is reminding residents to put unflushables such as wet wipes in the bin and not down the loo, and put cooled fats, oils and greases into the bin and not down the sink. Failing to do this can clog up drains and sewers which can lead to sewer flooding in homes, gardens and local communities.

Main image: Ten-year-old Lucy O’Keeffe won the Wirral Working Together poster competition (Left) and twelve-year-old Charlotte Bithell won united Utilities’ secondary school writing competition (right.)

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