Drain crews called to fix blocked sewers in parts of Highlands more than anywhere else in northern Scotland

Scottish Water crews were called out more than 6,300 times in north Scotland last year, including to remove a congealed ball of wet wipes from a sewer in Inverness,

Expert teams were called out to fix more sewer blockages in two parts of the Highlands last year than anywhere else in the north of Scotland. Over the last 12 months, crews from Scottish Water were sent to properties or streets across the region more than 6,300 times -an average of 17 per day. These call-outs have included using cameras to look down backed up or clogged drains, investigating rising water, and using a specialised GBP250,000 HGV to blast away blockages with water jets and vacuums.

Of the 6,379 jobs completed in the north between April 2019 and March 2020, almost 1,000 - or 15% - were located within the IV2 and IV3 postcode areas. On one occasion, this included a football-sized clump of wet wipes which had been flushed down the toilet and fused together.

(C) Scottish WaterSewer pipes in Inverness were blocked after residents flushed wet wipes down the toilet.

The figures show there were 352 in the IV30 Elgin area, 254 in the parts of Buckie covered by the AB56 postcode, and 242 in AB43 Fraserburgh. Scottish Water said factors such as postcode sector size and population density can make it difficult to directly compare areas.

Last year crews across Scotland were called to 50,000 appointments - with around three-quarters directly related to relieving "chokes" in the system. The body has also found that the coronavirus lockdown has caused a slight downward trend in the number of blockages reported - dropping from 2,850 in March to 2,626 in April - but said it is not a "significant diversion" from the monthly average. A Scottish Water spokeswoman said: "We urge people to only flush the 3Ps - pee, poo, and toilet paper - down their loo in order to reduce the risk of blockages in the sewerage system.

"Around 80% of chokes are caused by the wrong things being put down toilets and sinks.

"These include things such as wet wipes, kitchen roll, cotton wool and tissues, and fats, oils and grease, which contribute to blockages in the pipes which are avoidable.

"By following the simple 3Ps guidance together we can ensure the network is fully effective."

Drain crews called to fix blocked sewers in parts of Highlands more than anywhere else in northern Scotland

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