Northumbrian Water launches mobile phone game

Northumbrian Water has launched a new game to encourage customers not to flush ‘bad’ items down the toilet.

The Dwaine Dash mobile app game has been developed by Northumbrian Water as part of the Love Your Drain initiative and features the campaign’s ‘Dwaine Pipe’ as the central character.

Players must navigate the sewers, collecting ‘friendly’ items that have been flushed down the toilet – toilet paper, pee and poo – and avoiding anything else, those items that should not be put down the loo, such as pills, teddies and nappies.

Northumbrian Water deals with approximately 14,000 blocked drains every year and more than 3,000 of these are the result of wipes being flushed down the loo. The company spends more than £1 million every year clearing blockages in its 29,000-kilometre sewer network.

Three thousand tonnes of waste that has been wrongly flushed into the sewers, much of it wipes, needs to be removed at Northumbrian Water′s treatment works before wastewater can be treated and safely returned to the natural environment.

Northumbrian Water wastewater director Richard Warneford said: “Dwaine Pipe has been a great ambassador for good practice in looking after drains, so it was an obvious next step for him to go mobile.

“Gamification is a fantastic way of bringing an issue to life for our customers and we think that children and adults alike will enjoy Dwaine Dash and have great fun battling to beat their high scores, and those of their friends, in the battle to ensure that only pee, poo and toilet paper go down the loo.”

Source: Northumbrian Water

Mando creative director Steve Swann said: “We were really excited with the opportunity of developing Dwaine Pipe into a game with our friends at Milky Tea, and it’s been fun bringing the characters to life.

“Our team had a real drive for wanting to work on this. Designing a gaming experience is always going to make your team want to take up the challenge.

“Our thinking behind the game was two-fold. We wanted to educate children using a digital channel as all children now are engaging with games via iPads and mobiles. We also wanted to give Northumbrian Water an interactive element to the road shows they do around visiting schools.”