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Residents, businesses and students of Tintwistle come together with United Utilities

Residents, businesses, and school children in Tintwistle, near Glossop have been joining together to help prevent blockages and bursts in drains, pipes and sewers and the disruption that can occur when they need fixing.

 It is part of the United Utilities ‘Stop the Block’ campaign aimed at changing behaviours in the village to reduce blockages and improve river water quality.

Area Engagement Manager, Shelina Begum from United Utilities says the campaign came about following an increase in blockages in the network due to non-flushable items being recovered in the wastewater treatment process.

Shelina said: “United Utilities has a year-round campaign and activities to raise awareness of the hazards of flushing things like wet wipes and period products down the toilet. Strange things that have turned up across our sites include children’s toys and empty vape cartridges.

“United Utilities has invested £135,000 in upgrading the filter screens at Tintwistle Wastewater Treatment Works. Screening removes solids such as wet wipes, paper, plastics, and metals to prevent damage and clogging of piping and downstream equipment. Next month we are inviting local people on a tour of the site so that they can understand more about the process and what we can do together as part of our Better Rivers programme.”

Last term, children at Tintwistle Church of England Primary School were learning all about what not to flush in fun activities delivered by Mad Science.

Shelina explains: “Engaging with children and teachers in the classroom is a key part of fostering a concern for the environment and encouraging sustainable long term behavioural changes in the home. The Mad Science team deliver fun interactive sessions for us to help pupils learn about only flushing the three ‘P’s, (pee, poo and paper).”

Arnfield Fishery Café and Thai Restaurant with its beautiful waterside aspect across the Arnfield Reservoir, Tintwistle are one of over 1200 restaurants, cafes, and takeaways kitchens across the North West who now have suitable equipment to ensure cooking oil and grease does not enter the water system.  A team from United Utilities visit commercial kitchens in a scheme to reduce the number of blockages caused by fatbergs – a build-up of fats, oils and grease which mixes with things like wet wipes and period products.

Stephen Cuthbert, proprietor said: “We have found it quite easy to adapt to our upgraded systems and it’s been amazing to see how much fats, oils and grease is saved.”

As part of the developing climate action plan, Tintwistle Parish Council is bringing together organisations for whom being environmentally friendly is a core part of their business strategy in Tintwistle’s first Big Go Green event this weekend (Sunday 14 July). The event is one of the initiatives that comprise the Council’s Climate Change Impact Action Plan.

Chair, Cllr Marianne Stevenson said: “United Utilities owns a large amount of land in the area and also supplies our water, so we’re delighted to have them with us so that local people can ask questions to understand more about their water supply and wastewater treatment.”

Shelina and the Stop the Block team from United Utilities will be at Tintwistle’s Big Go Green event on Sunday 14 July where visitors will be able to find out more about the work going on at Tintwistle Wastewater Treatment Works, pick up free domestic fat traps and information about the Stop the Block campaign.


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