Anglian Water supports World Toilet Day and says don’t take your loo for granted

PUBLISHED: 18:40 25 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:49 25 November 2018

A blockage removef from a sewer by Anglian Water Workers

A blockage removef from a sewer by Anglian Water Workers


Millions of people across the world don’t have a toilet, so why should we take ours for granted?

Toys and mobilr phones are among the items flushed down the looToys and mobilr phones are among the items flushed down the loo

WCs, loos, washrooms – there’s no bog standard way of talking about toilets, and the subject still leaves many of us feeling a bit flushed. Britain is known for its love of toilet humour, but for many millions of people around the world toilets are no laughing matter.

A shocking 2.3 billion people – a third of the world’s population – do not have access to a safe, private toilet. Many have 
no choice but to face the 
indignity of going to the toilet in the open every single time, where they are exposed to disease and vulnerable to harassment and even attack.

Each and every one of us uses the toilet every day of our lives. It’s essential. We all have the luxury of having access to a toilet in our own homes, but do any of us really think about how lucky we are to have one?

World Toilet Day

Sponsored by WaterAid, World Toilet Day runs every year to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis and the work that the United Nations is doing to achieve sanitation for all. World Toilet Day aims to engage and inspire people to take action toward achieving this goal.

Here at Anglian Water, we raise money for WaterAid throughout the year with staff cake sales, quiz nights, sponsored bike rides and more. Since 1992, we’ve raised more than £13 million from our staff and customers generously putting their hands in their pockets by sponsoring appeals sent out with water bills.

But every year, we spend millions of pounds clearing blockages from our sewer pipes caused by wrongly flushed items. So why do we take our loos for granted?

Sadly, we have to deal with 40,000 sewer blockages a year – 80% of which are completely avoidable – caused due by bad toilet habits. Simply put, toilets are designed to only take 
the three P’s – Pee, Poo and Paper, and shouldn’t be used for anything else.

A pile of wet wipes taken from Anglian Water's water recycling centre at Milton in CambridgeshireA pile of wet wipes taken from Anglian Water's water recycling centre at Milton in Cambridgeshire

However, across our region we take out a whopping 800 tonnes of unflushable items from our sewers every single week. Skips upon skips worth of wipes, sanitary items, and cotton buds which have been wrongly flushed down the toilet.

We even see instances of false teeth, mobile phones, and kids’ toys too, all running the risk of ruining your toilet and blocking our sewers.

But wipes manufacturers have a role to play too. Many customers don’t realise that even the wipes labeled as ‘flushable’ don’t disintegrate once they go past the U-bend. They contain plastic fibres which prevent the wipes breaking down like normal toilet paper. They group together, mixing with fats, oils and greases and form huge fatbergs which can lead to sewer flooding in homes and environmental pollution.

We’re so lucky to have access to the facilities we do so that’s why we’re urging all our customers to think twice about how they treat their toilets.

The number of blockages we deal with equates to a call out once every five minutes, costing us a staggering £15million every year. Money which comes from our customers bills and could be spent better elsewhere in the business.

We are proud supporters of WaterAid, along with the UN and other organisations, all working together to increase awareness and access to toilets and good hygiene “for everyone, everywhere within a generation” – starting right in our own homes.

We want to do everything 
we can to help educate and 
inform people in our region about correct toilet use, helping to reduce the impact on toilets and our sewers.

We’re very lucky to have the facilities we do and I hope you follow me in only flushing the three P’s down the loo.

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