Working to prevent blockages

Working to prevent blockages

Our teams are working throughout the year to prevent blockages to ensure our network operates as it should do and that waste can safely flow to our water recycling centres to be treated.

This involves:

  • carrying out sewer inspections
  • maintaining or upgrading pipes where necessary.

We know that wet wipes, and so-called “flushable” wipes, are the biggest cause of block-ages in our region.

Sewerage systems are not designed to cope with today’s disposable household products such as make-up, cleaning, toilet and baby wipes.

Unfortunately our customers can sometimes be misled into thinking these products are safe to flush.

That’s why we and other water companies have called on the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards to review the way these products are marketed.

We have also written to manufacturers and supermarkets to voice our concerns, but the response to date has been disappointing.

We continue to write to local communities where blockages have occurred to provide prevention advice.

And we also proactively encourage customers to ‘Stop the Block’ through the media, our magazine, social media channels and meeting customers at local events.

In addition we engage with foodservice businesses, such as takeaways, restaurants and factories, to ensure they have the right equipment in place to prevent fat, oil and grease being poured into sewers, causing fatbergs.

Fine to flush

A Fine to Flush standard for moist toilet tissue has now been developed by the water industry.

Wet wipes with the Fine to Flush logo have been rigorously tested and are free from plastic.

It means they will not only physically pass around a toilet U-bend but will also break down in the sewer system.

Many wet wipes available are described as flushable but unless they have the Fine to Flush logo they will contain plastic and will not break down like toilet paper when flushed.

This can lead to fatbergs in sewers, pollutions, costly blockages and the misery of sewage flooding in homes.

If you are in doubt, stick to flushing the three Ps to stay blockage free!


Improvement schemes

We are investing nearly £100 million in the next few years to upgrade our sewerage network to meet ongoing and future development in two communities in our area and to improve bathing waters at one coastal community.

Help and advice

How to avoid blockages

Every day homes in your area are affected by blocked sewer pipes - and many of these could have been avoided