British Columbia·Video

Meet Poo and Pee. Metro Vancouver introduces mascots in campaign against improper flushing

Gravitas in local politics may have gone down the crapper with an awareness campaign from Metro Vancouver. Although it's designed to amuse, the regional government says the message behind the mascots is still a serious one.

Products don't break down quickly enough and can damage municipal sewers and your pipes

Poo and Pee are the latest tools in Metro Vancouver's arsenal to fight clogs and damage to the region's sewer system. (Metro Vancouver)

The regional government of Canada's third-largest metropolitan area has launched a video campaign introducing mascots Poo and Pee to drive home a message about improper flushing.

The costumed mascots are part of Metro Vancouver's annual Unflushables campaign to remind people about items that should not be flushed because they can clog city sewers and your pipes.

Problem items that can lead to trouble with municipal and residential pipes when flushed include dental floss, hair, paper towels, tampons and applicators, as well as condoms, according to the regional government.

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, the chair of the region's utilities commission, was present April 1 for an event with the mascots at Waterfront station in Vancouver.

Video of the event was posted this week.

Poo and Pee starring in: we're all you can flush

"Our sewage system doesn't get enough respect," said Stewart as mascot Pee danced behind him.

"We want people only to flush the pee and the poo, because there's a whole bunch of stuff that gets flushed down the toilet that doesn't belong there."

The 2019 campaign is reminding people that many products labelled "flushable" actually leave unfortunate, long-lasting deposits in the local sewer system.

Metro Vancouver cited research by Ryerson University that found only 11 of 101 tested "flushable" products actually met international flushable specifications. And those products were all toilet paper.

A spokesperson for Metro Vancouver said the costumes cost less than $10,000 to make. The cost of improper items being flushed, he added, adds up to $250 million across Canada.

This is not the first time dress-up droppings have been used in a campaign for sewage awareness.

In Victoria, Mr. Floatie was an ignominious icon protesting the Capital Regional District's decades-long practice of dumping raw sewage into its surrounding waters.

James Skwarok, who invented and had portrayed Mr. Floatie since 2004 retired his alter-ego in 2017 once construction was underway on the region's new sewage treatment plant.

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