She contacted Northumbrian Water wanting to know more about our pumping stations and what may get discharged in the Hartlepool catchment.
We invited Diane to see what we deal with on a daily basis at our Seaton Headworks pumping station and Treatment Works manager Kevin Bouttell, Production Team Leader Chris Fryer and operator Rob Stewart met with her and showed her how the process works.
She was amazed by the size of our operation and the use of sophisticated technology to screen the sewage. We showed her the screen house and what we capture on a daily basis and she was shocked at the volume of rags and waste we have to deal with.
We explained our use of Advanced Anaerobic Digestion (AAD) technology to harness gas from our processes, producing power from poo, and Diane left with a great impression of the work that goes into all of our processes to help protect the environment.
Diane is an artist and an active environmentalist and her current work focuses on the myriad of plastic items washed up by surge tides along the North East coast.
She walks our local beaches on a daily basis and her collection of thousands of plastic tops, toys, bottles, lighters and other discarded items are used to create kaleidoscopic patterns, turning the mundane / thrown away into something beautiful.
Diane says "Mother Nature is the last woman who would want us adding to the pollution of the planet. Plastic pollution of our seas is at an epidemic level with 8 million tonnes of plastic entering the sea every year.
"All of the plastic applicators used in my work have been collected from the beach, flushed down the toilet and washed into the sea. Let′s get empowered and start a conversation with our daughters, together we can put an end to this particular plastic pollution."
Kevin Bouttell said: "It′s great that Diane was interested to come and see what we are doing at the Seaton Headworks pumping station and find out what goes on behind the scenes.
"As a company we are passionate about protecting the environment and we are always really keen to get this message across to our customers and local communities in any way that we can.
"Dianne′s work is fantastic and sends a powerful message about protecting the environment in a really creative way. Everyone can play their part in this though. Think about what you flush down the toilet.
"Don′t flush wet wipes and make sure only paper, pee and poo go down the loo - that′s a really good starting point towards helping make a real difference."
Diane′s visit coincides with the launch of Northumbrian Water′s fantastic new Refill campaign which encourages people to ditch single use water bottles and use a refillable bottle instead.
Refill is all about reducing the amount of plastic waste that is produced in the North East, helping protect our plant and encouraging people to drink our clean, clear and great tasting tap water.
To find out more information go to http://www.refill.org.uk/ or download the Refill app today. #RefillNorthEast