We deal with around 13,000 blockages on our network every year at a cost of around £5m, with around 75% of them involving disposable items.
The most common causes of blockages are:
wet wipes, including those labelled flushable
sanitary items, such as towels and tampons
fats, oils and grease (FOGs) and food leftovers.
To keep your home blockage free, only flush the three Ps: paper, pee and poo.
Avoiding blockages in the bathroom
Wet wipes are one of the biggest causes of blockages because they don’t break down in the same way as toilet paper when flushed.
You should never flush any of the following items:
wet wipes, including make-up, cleaning and baby wipes (even if they say ‘flushable’)
plasters and bandages
tampons and applicators
sanitary and incontinence pads
any other sanitary products.
You can help the environment by avoiding single-use items in general. Try using reusable alternatives where possible.
Avoiding blockages in the kitchen
Your drain is not designed to carry FOGs and food leftovers. When put down the drain, they can lead to blockages.
To prevent blockages in the kitchen:
scrape leftover food into the bin
wipe grease from plates and pans before washing
use sink strainers to catch any small bits of food
dispose of coffee grounds and kitchen roll in the bin.
The impact of sewer misuse
Flushing wet wipes and sanitary items down the toilet and putting FOGs down the sink can be expensive and damaging to both your home and the environment.
In your home
Blockages can lead to sewage backing up into your bathroom or kitchen through the toilet or sink. If the blockage is on a section of pipe you are responsible for, it will also leave you with an expensive mess to get fixed.
In the environment
Blockages can burst sewers or cause them to overflow, resulting in wipes and other disposable items making their way into rivers and the sea causing river and marine pollution.
Order your free waste devices
If we provide you with sewerage services, you can order a free waste pack from us.
These devices will help keep your drains clear of blockages, while also preventing unwanted plumbing bills.
Your free waste devices will be processed and dispatched by Save Water Save Money on behalf of Wessex Water.
Check if you are eligible
Please enter your postcode to check you are eligible for our free waste devices.