A royal flush of advice for new parents

23.07.2013

As the world welcomes Prince William and Kate’s new arrival, a local water company is advising other new parents how to avoid a blocked throne.

On the day that the royal baby was born, Northumbrian Water has launched a webpage for parents dealing with the daily rounds of nappies, wipes and cotton wool, to ensure these items are “throne” into a bin and not flushed down the toilet.

And while only babies born on the same day as His Royal Highness Prince of Cambridge will be gifted with a commemorative silver coin, the water company’s Love your drain campaign mascot, Dwaine Pipe, is offering a free trolley coin to all new and expectant parents who visit the webpage at www.nwl.co.uk/newparents.

Northumbrian Water has revealed that more than half of the 17,500 blocked drains it cleared around the North East last year were caused by disposable items like wipes, nappies and cotton wool being flushed down the toilet instead of being put in a bin.

Although these items are often marketed as ′flushable′ and look like they disappear when flushed down the toilet, they do not break down like toilet paper does and can easily clog up pipes.

Leanne Clough from the water company, said: “New babies can go through 100 nappies a week on average, so while new parents soon become an expert on how to change a baby, they may welcome a little guidance on what to do with wipes and nappies after they’re finished with them.

“Becoming a new parent is incredibly exciting and rewarding, but can also be very tiring. By following our advice, new parents can enjoy precious time with their baby without having to spend hours dealing with a blocked toilet that can cost a princely sum to fix, or even worse, a flooded bathroom.”

The water company also revealed that it spent £370,000 of customers’ money last year sending wipes, nappies, pads and cotton buds from its 437 treatment works to landfill where the items would have gone in the first place if they’d been put in the bin. Smaller items like cotton buds can easily escape through the fine mesh screens at treatment works if flushed and can end up washed up on beaches or riverbanks.
In addition to the webpage, practical guidance for new parents can also be found by following Dwaine Pipe on Twitter @loveyourdrain on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loveyourdwaine.

For further information please contact Leanne Clough on 0191 301 6733.

Top tips for new parents from Dwaine Pipe

• The only things that should go down the loo are toilet paper, pee and poo.
• Nappies should be popped in a nappy sack and put in a bin as they can block toilets.
• Wet wipes and cotton wool should always be put in a bin as they don’t break down like toilet paper does and can clog up pipes.
• Help keep the environment free of litter by disposing of cotton buds in a bin and not down the toilet.

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