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The charity making life better by water


Pump outs, toilets, Elsan disposals and water points – they’re all essential services for our boating customers and need regular maintenance to keep them in working order.

A man smiles as he pumps out his narrowboat

We service every pump out on our network every year to make sure it's fit for purpose and still sucks. Just like a service on a car, seals and clips are replaced to keep it in working order. If they break (due to wear and tear or vandalism) we'll repair them.

We clean our Elsan facilities (a big stainless steel loo with a flush for disposing of chemical toilet waste) on a regular basis. Depending on how often they are used, they may need cleaning anything from once a week to five times a week!

When it comes to pump outs and ‘wet waste' we've got our work cut out for us. Every year we spend about £2.8 million emptying cess pits. That's 11,865 days of work clearing the equivalent of 36 standard swimming pools of poo, wee and waste water each year.

It's not just the messy business of effluent disposal that our facilities team manages. We also look after over 270 sanitary stations with showers, toilets and even launderettes in some areas. In addition to keeping them clean we also have to repair them when they go wrong.

Last Edited: 31 March 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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