The city of Hamilton spent around $40,000 to teach its residents what items they should and should not flush down the toilet.
— City of Hamilton (@cityofhamilton) February 21, 2019
The Own Your Throne campaign was launched back in November 2018 and has a message that outlines a number of items that should not be flushed down the toilet in order to save the city’s sewage lines.
The three YouTube videos that were released in order to support the campaign have reached more than 146k viewers. The videos contain three cartoon characters: Sir Peeter, Richard the Turd, and the Duchess of Swirl, and rely a lot on ironic toilet humour to get the message across. The videos share an important message to only flush the 3 P’s down the throne — pee, poo, and toilet paper.
In the coming weeks, the city will be issuing a survey to help them determine what worked and how future campaigns can continue to draw a larger audience.
Hamiltonians continue to flush items like bandages, cigarette butts, and “flushable” wipes. Small items like these can have a big impact on the city’s sewage system and can cost a significant amount to repair.
Floss caused $5000 in damages to pipes, tampon applicators caused 344 clogs, and cotton balls have flooded 22 bathrooms. According to the director of Hamilton Water, Andrew Grice, flushing the wrong items can easily destroy a pump which could cost between $100,000 and $500,000 to replace.
The $40,000 price tag for the videos was a small price to spread awareness of a growing issue that could end up costing the city more. The budget for the campaign was split between production costs and promotional costs of buying ad space on buses, CHCH, and the Hamilton Spectator. Included as part of the campaign were cut-outs, plush figures of the video’s characters, and inflatable toilet seats.
Grice says that the city sees the 146,000 views as a success for the Own Your Throne campaign.
Phew, made it through the entire article without using a single toilet pun.