He’s packed his bags and is ready to rock Gibraltar.
Northumbrian Water’s Love your drain campaign mascot, Dwaine Pipe, is jetting off to sunnier climes to help pull the plug on bad habits overseas.
The loveable character was launched by the North East water company in 2012 to help educate customers about what should and should not be put down toilets and sinks to help keep sewers clear.
Now, through Northumbrian Water’s joint ownership of AquaGib, high-flying Dwaine will make a landing in Gibraltar with his familiar ‘only toilet paper, pee and poo go down the loo’ catchphrase.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the damage blockages can cause, such as sewer flooding and pollution, to the 30,000 resident population of Gibraltar, together with the 30,000 workforce who travel across the Spanish border and tourism visitors.
More than half of the blocked sewers cleared by Northumbrian Water around the North East are 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.
This means that everything else that has been flushed down the loo can either back up into people’s homes or overflow into rivers and the sea.
Other causes of sewer blockages include fats, oils and grease, sanitary products, general waste, tree roots and collapse.
Northumbrian Water will provide Gibraltar’s water company, AquaGib, with educational tools for schools, including books and leaflets, targeting youngsters in a bid to bring about change in the household.
Jennie Collingwood, Marketing Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “Dwaine Pipe was an instant hit with our customers in the North East.
“Children are really focused on protecting the environment, so we developed Dwaine Pipe as an engaging way to educate kids about blockages. By educating them from an early age about these issues, they will take on good habits right through to their adult life.
“Blockages can have devastating consequences with people’s homes being flooded and the environment being polluted so it’s in everyone’s interests to be responsible and develop good habits.
“We’re delighted to help AquaGib Ltd and the people of Gibraltar tackle this issue with our award-winning Love your drain campaign.”
David Santos, Water Production Director at AquaGib, said: “It′s imperative that we all understand what actually happens when we flush the toilet and how this affects our sewage network.
“Working with Northumbrian Water will help us to achieve this, together with our partners HM Government of Gibraltar Technical Services, Housing Department, Housing Agency and the Environmental Agency.”
Customers can follow Dwaine Pipe’s adventures on Twitter @loveyourdrain or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loveyourdwaine.
For more information contact Janine Scott on 0191 301 6713