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Government water quality campaign backs Unbloctober


13 | 09 | 2019

Government agency backs world's first Unblocktober awareness month to save sewers and seas

Unblocktober, the world's first awareness month aimed at protecting the UK's sewers and seas, has gained support from the Environment Agency as it attempts to fight plastic pollution and fatbergs.

The campaign, which is led by Lanes Group plc, has been backed by the Love Water campaign, which includes over 40 organisations and is jointly led by the Environment Agency and Water UK.

Unblocktober challenges the British public to make small changes to their kitchen and bathroom habits for the whole calendar month of October, to establish new routines that will be much less harmful to the environment.

Over 1,000 people - a combination of individuals and organisations - have so far signed up to take part and commit to not putting any of the following down their sinks or loos:


        Cooking oil - pre or post-cooking




        Cooking sauces and condiments

        Food - even crumbs

        Wet wipes

        Tampons, applicators and wrappers

        Sanitary/menstrual pads and towels



        Cotton buds

        Contact lenses

        Bandages and plasters

        Razor blades

        Dental floss

Helen Wakeham, Deputy Director of Water Quality at the Environment Agency, said: "Most people agree that water is a precious resource but too often we take it for granted. What we do at home can have a direct effect on the rivers, lakes and beaches we all care about. As part of the Love Water campaign we are urging people to use water wisely, protect water quality and think before pouring cooking oil down the drain or flushing a wet wipe away. By taking these simple steps, we can all play our part to reduce blockages of drains, as well as pollution of our rivers and seas."

Michelle Ringland from Unblocktober said: "Unblocktober is all about driving behavioural change - which is a key objective shared by all of our partners.

"We know from our own research that the majority of the public (63%) consider themselves to be ‘very aware' of what should and shouldn't go down the drain, and yet almost half (48%) of the nation still pour fat and oil down their sinks - so at this point we need to do more than just raise awareness and educate, we need to change habits.

"Unblocktober is the ideal way of encouraging people to make a series of small, achievable changes to their behaviour that will make a big difference to the environment."

Participants can sign up and find more information at



Editors notes:

PR Contact: Graham Allchurch

Telephone: 0161 402 3170


About Unblocktober

Unblocktober is the world's first month-long national campaign and awareness month to improve the health of our drains, sewers, watercourses and seas - driven completely by the British public.





Unblocktober's official supporters include:

        Love Water

        Thames Water

        Fab Little Bag

        Anglian Water

        Southern Water

        Rivers Trust

        Water Research Centre

        Future Water Association

        Cheshire Wildlife Trust

        Hvitved Larsen

 About Love Water

Love Water is a major campaign involving more than 40 environmental groups, charities, water companies and regulators, aimed at getting the British public involved in safeguarding water resources for future generations.

The campaign will raise awareness of the importance of water and the role everyone plays in protecting it. It will feature events and initiatives, such as beach and river clean-ups and water-saving projects, designed to engage the public and encourage them to enjoy water and the environment.

Love Water's supporters include:


        Rivers Trust

        Water UK

        Water Aid

        Consumer Council for Water

        National Union of Students (NUS)


        Yorkshire Water

        Thames Water

        National Farmer's Union

        United Utilities

        Southern Water

        Anglian Water

        South East Water

        Angling Trust

        South Staffordshire Water

        Wessex Water

        Welsh Water

        City to Sea

        Wildlfowl & Wetlands Trust

        UWE Bristol

        Affinity Water

        Northumbrian Water

        British Canoeing

        Severn Trent Water

        Bristol Natural History Consortium


        Dover District Council

About Lanes Group

Lanes Group plcis a national wastewater and drainage solutions provider. It sits at the heart of the drainage industry in the UK and Ireland, and is serious about delivering excellence in service, safety and innovation.

The company has a network of 32 depots and strategic utility hubs, providing high quality utility, drainage, and maintenance services for commercial, public sector and domestic customers.

Specialist market sectors include water utilities, construction, energy, rail, highways, insurance and commercial maintenance.