In your home

Do your bit to look after the River Dee by following these tips and suggestions. Some of them may directly save you money too.

Reduce Water Use

  • Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth - don't leave it running.
  • Fix dripping taps – a tap that drips once a second wastes 33 litres a day.
  • Use a large barrel or water butt to collect the rainwater from your shed or greenhouse roof - use this to water your garden.
  • Put a Save-A-Flush sachet in your toilet cistern - save an estimated 4.5 litres of water per day for every person in your household (flushing the toilet accounts for about one third of the water used in the average home).

See Scottish Water’s leaflet for more water saving tips for the home and garden

To order a Save-A-Flush sachet, go to Scottish Water’s website or call their customer helpline on 0845 601 8855.

Care for Your Drains

Avoid blocked drains, prevent harm to water suppplies and save money by caring for your drains.

  • Don't dispose of grease, cooking or frier oil down any drain as it can block drains and are responsible for 55% of sewer blockages - instead wipe out pans, pour fat ito a container and put in a bin.
  • Bag and bin cotton buds, cotton wool, plasters and nappies, as putting them down the toilet blocks drains and wastewater treatment works.
  • Bag and bin any type of wipes. Even if they say 'flushable', they will not remain in the sewer system long enough to break down.
  • Keep garden products and weed killers away from drains and use them sparingly and according to instructions.

See the DCP Drain Care Guide for more useful advice. 

Care for Your Septic Tank

Keep your septic tank in good working order, reduce the number of times your tank has to be emptied, protect the environment and save unnecessary expense by caring for your septic tank.

Think T.A.N.K! - four simple steps to help keep your septic tank in good health:

  1. Tidy the site. Locate and check the tank, pipes and outfall, making sure pipes are not blocked or broken and the areas around the tank and soakaway are accessible.
  2. Avoid putting harsh chemicals (such as bleach, disinfectant or caustic soda) down the drain, and use eco-friendly cleaners and disinfectants, preferably those labelled ‘suitable for septic tanks’.
  3. Never allow rainwater to enter the system. Make sure surface water drainage is not connected to the septic tank and keep the cover sealed.
  4. Keep the system maintained and have your tank emptied regularly. 

See the DCP Septic Tank Guide for more useful advice. 

Encourage Native Wildlife

  • Create a small pond in your garden to create a great environment for wildlife while adding a very pretty and interesting addition to your garden. Some great guidance material is available from Pond Conservation or Aberdeenshire Council.
  • Invasive plant species are causing problems right across Britain. By planting native species you create a more valuable and productive habitat for our wildlife. If you have seen or know about invasive plant species in your garden or local area Scottish Natural Heritage and RAFTS (River and Fisheries Trusts for Scotland) for guidance on what to do next.
  • Stop using pesticides and herbicides completely, or at least avoid using them in all but the most extreme cases. Even the small amounts of herbicides and pesticides used in gardens can have an effect cumulatively. Many of the harmful effects of pesticides in particular are only just becoming apparent and are being blamed for declining populations of animals like bees and amphibians.

More Information

Keep Scotland Beautiful is an organisation which works to improve the quality of local environments in Scotland.

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  • c/o James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH
  • T: 01224 395141
  • E: info@theriverdee.org