With reports of supermarket shelves clearing of toilet paper, Severn Trent is encouraging its customers not to flush potential substitutes like wet wipes or kitchen roll down the toilet.
Severn Trent’s sewer blockages lead, Grant Mitchell, says: “We know just how worrying it is for everyone at the moment and we want to reassure our customers that we’re working really hard to keep our essential service running as usual.
“Flushing the wrong things down the toilet is probably very low on everyone’s list of priorities right now, but by flushing the wrong thing down the toilet, you could end up blocking our sewer pipes, which could cause issues for you, or for your neighbours or out in the street, and no one wants that during this difficult time.
“So we’d just like to remind everyone that anything other than toilet roll shouldn’t be flushed down the loo in case it causes any problems.”
Sewer blockages across the region are still around 45,000 per year, three quarters of which are caused by people putting things down their toilets and sinks which they’re not supposed to.
Grant continued: “Sewers are only designed to cope with toilet paper and human waste. So some of the things people throw down the toilet, like wet wipes and kitchen roll, can easily snag on the inside of a pipe and block it. And, because some of the sewer pipes are only a few inches wide, any fats or oils you throw down your sink can build up on the inside of it, clogging it up – even if you rinse it off with boiling water.
“Then, when a sewer is blocked the waste has to go somewhere. This means it usually comes out of a drain and can flood roads, or even your home with sewage. And, during times like this, this is the last thing anyone wants.
“But all this can easily be avoided, by people disposing of items in the bin, and not the toilet or sink.”