This Valentine′s Day, people in Newcastle are being urged to love their gardens in a bid to help reduce flood risk.
Northumbrian Water will unveil their Rainwise campaign on Northumberland Street on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
The month-long campaign, which includes on-air radio messaging, adverts and mail-outs in the NE1 area, aims to raise awareness about how residents can play their part in reducing the risk of flooding by managing rainwater around the home better.
Starting with gardens and yards, increasing the amount of green space by adding plants and shrubs will help to soak up rainfall naturally.
Adding water butts, planters and rain gardens, especially if attached to the roof guttering, can also help capture rainfall and slow the flow of it.
The less rainfall that enters the sewer network, means the more capacity there is to deal with it during a severe storm event.
Using water wisely in the house can also help create more space in the network, while only flushing toilet paper, pee and poo prevents blocked pipes which can increase the risk of flooding.
The water company′s customer engagement vehicle, ‘Flo′, will be parked on Northumberland Street on Valentine′s Day, and employees will be helping customers understand how they can help out.
Project Manager, Chris Austin, said: "Heavier rainfall and increasing amounts of hard surfaces are putting increasing pressure on our sewer network and this can lead to flooding.
"We know how devastating flooding can be and we′re committed to being prepared for the future. Through Rainwise we′re going to be exploring the area to see if there are ways we can help manage the flows in a more natural way.
"We also want to help our customers build their own resilience, and many people don′t realise how much of a big part their gardens can play in reducing the pressure on our drains.
"We′re encouraging our customers to come along and talk to us to find out how they can do their bit to reduce flood risk. We′re giving away plant seeds that thrive in wet conditions and absorb rainfall, and we′ve got chocolate hearts to give away too, since it is Valentine′s Day after all!"
Northumbrian Water is also working to identify potential opportunities to carry out projects in the area that will help reduce the risk of future flooding, and will be asking customers about any previous flooding experiences to help shape possible projects.
To stay up to date with the initiative in the area, visit www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk and follow the link to the Newcastle City page.
For more information about Rainwise, visit www.nwl.co.uk/rainwise.
For further media information, call 0191 3015678.
Notes to Editors: Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customers in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.
In the most recent survey by the Consumer Council for Water, Northumbrian Water was named the UK′s most trusted water company by its customers. 2017 also saw Northumbrian Water named the world′s most ethical water company for the seventh successive year and Utility of the Year at the Utility Week Awards, for the second time in four years.
Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5FJ. Telephone 0345 6047468. Website: www.nwl.co.uk