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Anglian Water ‘Keep it Clear’

VANEL are supporting Anglian Water with their ‘Keep it Clear’ campaign!

“Keep It Clear is Anglian Water’s campaign to help reduce the misery, cost, bad smells and potential flooding and pollution caused by avoidable blockages”.

Visit the Anglian Water Keep it Clear website for plenty of information.

Over the past few years, Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire has been working in partnership with Anglian Water to promote their ‘Keep it Clear’ campaign. ‘Keep it Clear’ is designed to educate and inform people about the kind of things that should and shouldn’t be put down the drain or toilet, and the reasons why. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the wider issues surrounding improper waste disposal, and demonstrate how by making small changes in the way you dispose of items in your kitchen and bathroom, can make a big difference.

Did you know that 42% of drain blockages are caused by foreign objects that were never designed to be flushed away? The main blockage causing culprits are oils, fats, grease, sanitary waste and wet wipes. It is estimated that each week around 800 tonnes of sanitary waste and wet wipes are flushed down the toilet in the East of England alone. It is no wonder then that of the 30,000 blockages Anglian Water have to deal with each year, 80% of them are caused by wet wipes and kitchen fats. On average, Anglian Water are called out to deal with a blockage once every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, adding £15 million a year on to customer’s bills.

And even so-called ‘flushable’ wet-wipes, which typically contain plastic, and therefore don’t biodegrade, are capable of causing havoc within our sewage systems, creating blockages and damaging the environment. Likewise, wet-wipes which are labelled ‘biodegradable’, often don’t break up fast enough to make it through the water recycling process. Consequently, they too are capable of causing annoying and costly blockages or end up washed up on beaches, damaging our coastlines and posing a threat to marine life.

VANEL have already started talking to colleagues across the partnership about the importance of keeping our drains clear from an environmental and public health perspective, and will continue to do so, on a wider scale, over the coming months. In an effort to help protect your drains and your pockets, the VANEL team have been going out into the community and giving away free Gunk Pots. The Gunk Pots are specially designed to safely and temporarily store used fat, oil  and grease which may otherwise find its way down the drain or toilet. The Gunk Pots come equipped with a plate scraper and sink strainer, making it even easier for you to protect your drains from nasty blockages come dinner time. Keep your eyes peeled on the VANEL website for information of future VANEL in partnership with Anglian Water events for your chance to get your hands on a free Gunk Pot.


See our photo gallery below for images of what we’ve been up to. VANEL staff, the IGNITE team and volunteers have all participated in a range of activities over the past few years…

Just a few things we’ve been doing…
  • Attending events throughout North East Lincolnshire spreading the word about keeping pipes clear, beach cleanliness, saving water and so on. Giving demonstrations and handing out Anglian Water, Keep it Clear freebies. You might have seen us at the Older People’s Day?
  • We’re at 82 Grimsby Road, the Community Hub for Big Local North Cleethorpes and you can always chat to us about water, loo rolls and more!
  • We’ve been involved with beach cleanups and river tidies
  • Each year we participate in World Ocean’s Day in June and coordinate fun activities locally. For 2020 there will be a ‘virtual’ World Ocean’s Day, so watch this space.
  • our Young Reporters write us articles about water and drains and litter picks and so on and we share the word about Keep it Clear on behalf of Anglian Water
  • Festival of the Skies 2019 in Cleethorpes. We connected the organisers of this event with Anglian Water to encourage sponsorship and there was a stand at the event all weekend to promote the message.
  • VANEL also represented Anglian Water as special guests at the lanuch event. Volunteers helped leaflet the area getting across the Love your Seaside and FOG (fats, oils, grease) messages.
  • VANEL attended the national Innovate conference to network around better ways to promote the FOG and Keep it Clear messages.