Volunteers from Anglian Water joined Metro Rod Norwich to help clean up Cromer beach in Norwich.
The water company already invests £150,000 a year through its RiverCare and BeachCare programmes, in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, to help clean up its region’s beaches and rivers by carrying out litter picking, river restoration, invasive species removal and species survey activities.
Greg Hall, Anglian Water’s Coastal Catchment Manager for Norfolk said: “Coastal water quality and the cleanliness of our beaches is close to all of our hearts. Dropping litter, not cleaning up after dogs, even what people put down sinks and toilets, have a huge cumulative impact on our local environment. Sewer and drain blockages not only cause bad smells but may overflow into our watercourses and affect our beaches.”
Data gathered by Anglian Water in October 2021 showed that people across the East of England had disposed of almost 3000 tonnes of non-flushable items down the sewer network over the previous 12 months. This is equivalent to 30 blue whales’ worth of rubbish and puts the region’s much-loved environment at risk.
Anglian Water clears over 40,000 blockages every single year, caused by wrongly flushed items like wet wipes and sanitary products, as well as a build-up of fats, oils and greases. This equates to one blockage every 5 minutes – of which 80% are avoidable. They cost the company a whopping £19 million a year to remove in order to keep taps flowing, toilets flushing and help protect the wider environment from preventable overflows.
Anglian Water employees gave away free devices to use at home and information on how to help keep water pipes clear from preventable blockages.
Greg added, “The vast majority of Norfolk’s beaches achieve an ‘excellent’ standard of bathing water quality, and we want to help keep these beaches in tip-top shape. It’s great to see members of the community getting involved to keep Norfolk’s beaches healthy and looking beautiful.”