Customer behaviour affects the performance of the sewer system through its effect on the numbers of sewer blockages, associated flooding and pollution incidents. Today sewer blockages are the single largest operational cost for sewer system operators; sewer flooding and pollution caused by blockages is now a greater problem than overloaded sewers during periods of very heavy rain.
In partnership with Systra we explored the best methods for communicating with customers about the responsible use of drains and sewers and how to improve awareness of items that are, and are not, suitable for flushing. Engaging with customers on this topic has historically been both difficult and time consuming, therefore understanding reasons why misuse of sewers currently occurs, and barriers and motivations to change was key.
The project outputs, available from UKWIR, provide guidance on appropriate campaign types, content and style. Using these guidelines allows the industry to engage in a better way with their customers, leading to reduced operational costs and improved customer satisfaction.