The battle to ensure that only pee, poo and toilet paper go down the loo has gone mobile, with the launch of a brand new game.
Dwaine Dash has been developed by Northumbrian Water in conjunction with awards-winning digital agency Mando and animation and games development experts, Milky Tea. The game is part of the Love Your Drain initiative and features the campaign′s loveable Dwaine Pipe as the central character.
Players must navigate the sewers, collecting friendly items that have been flushed down the toilet "toilet paper, pee and poo" and avoiding anything else, those items that should not be put down the loo, such as pills, teddies and nappies.
Love Your Drain encourages people to take greater care of the items that go down the toilet and into the water treatment system. The game is available for Apple devices on iOS and can be downloaded from the App Store.
Dwaine Pipe is the mascot for Love Your Drain and visits schools and community venues and events, as well as fronting radio, poster and web campaigns, to spread the message "only toilet paper, pee and poo go down the loo". Everything else makes Dwain "sick", so should be binned, or disposed of in other ways.
A special launch event will give visitors to the MetroCentre a chance to play the game, enjoy a free mocktail, and win Dwaine Pipe goodies on Wednesday, August 24, from 10am to 10pm. Dwaine and the team from Smooth Radio will be on the ground floor, near the entrance of the Yellow Mall.
Northumbrian Water deals with approximately 14,000 blocked drains every year and more than 3,000 of these are the result of wipes being flushed down the loo. The company spends more than Â£1 million every year clearing blockages in its 29,000 kilometre sewer network.
3,000 tonnes of waste that has been wrongly flushed into the sewers, much of it wipes, needs to be removed at Northumbrian Water′s treatment works before wastewater can be treated and safely returned to the natural environment.
Richard Warneford, wastewater director at Northumbrian Water, said: â€œDwaine Pipe has been a great ambassador for good practice in looking after drains, so it was an obvious next step for him to go mobile.Gamification is a fantastic way of bringing an issue to life for our customers and we think that children and adults alike will enjoy Dwaine Dash and have great fun battling to beat their high scores, and those of their friends, in the battle to ensure that only pee, poo and toilet paper go down the loo.
Steve Swann, Creative Director at Mando, said of the project: We were really excited with the opportunity of developing Dwaine Pipe into a game with our friends at Milky Tea, and it′s been fun bringing the characters to life. Our team had a real drive for wanting to work on this. Designing a gaming experience is always going to make your team want to take up the challenge.
Our thinking behind the game was two-fold. We wanted to educate children using a digital channel as all children now are engaging with games via ipads and mobiles. We also wanted to give Northumbrian Water an interactive element to the road shows they do around visiting schools.
The Marine Conservation Society currently has a petition open to encourage better labelling on products, such as wet wipes, to make it clear that they should not be flushed. This can be found at http://www.wetwipesturnnasty.com/.
For further media information, contact Paul White on 0191 3015325.