Stop the Block – residents urged to work together to protect their beaches

As temperatures heat up and tourists begin to flock to the Blackpool and Fylde coast, residents are being urged to think twice about what they put down their drains and keep their beautiful coastline clean.

This cannot only lead to flooding in our homes and communities, but could also result in debris from the sewers finding its way onto our beaches.

And with an influx of tourists due to descend on the coast for the summer, United Utilities is encouraging residents to lead by example and take more care when disposing of items which could lead to blockages.

Catherine Booth, marketing and campaigns manager at United Utilities, said: “The increase in population caused by visitors to the region can put additional strain on the sewer network so it’s vital we keep them in the best shape possible all year round.

“Unfortunately, when fats, oils and grease are poured down the sink, they cool and solidify in the sewers together with items such as wet wipes, nappies, and sanitary products. These huge lumps – known as fatbergs - clog up sewer pipes and, during times of very heavy rainfall, they can cause untreated sewage to flood homes, gardens, streets and can even impact our beaches.

“Our Stop the Block campaign has been launched to raise awareness about how much damage people are unwittingly causing when they dispose of these items in this way and urging them to act now to protect our communities and businesses.”

In the past year alone, due to the wrong things being flushed and poured, there have been more than 350 blockages in Blackpool and the Fylde, most of which could have been avoided. Items commonly found in the region’s sewers include children’s toys and even cutlery.

The water firm is urging residents to do their bit through a campaign called Stop the Block, reminding residents at these flooding hotspots to put unflushables into the bin and not down the loo, and scrape cooled fats, oils and grease from pots and pans into the bin.

As part of the campaign, United Utilities is also encouraging Food Service businesses in the area to sign its ‘fighting the fatberg’ pledge and is holding competitions for both primary and secondary school children to educate the next generation on this issue.

The campaign follows the company’s huge £80m investment into improving the sewer system and water quality along the Blackpool and Fylde coast.

This has included building a huge underground storage tank in Anchorsholme Park, and building a new storm water pumping station.

The company has also increased the capacity of the sewer network, reduced the volume of surface water entering the sewer network and updated the existing wastewater pumping station at Lennox Gate, and replaced the stormwater outfall pipe at Harrowside.

For more information about the children’s drawing competition and for a chance to win a £100 voucher, go to

For more information about the campaign and to find out what you can and can’t dispose of down your pipes and drains, go to