Water firm takes a s-wipe over 2,000 sewer blockages a year in Shropshire

By Mark Drew | News | Published:

People flushing wet wipes down their toilet is one of the major reasons that engineers are being forced to deal with around 2,000 sewer blockages in Shropshire every year.

A sewer blockage which is expensive to clear and can lead to homes being flooded

Baby wipes, cosmetic wipes, sanitary towels and nappies are among the offending items, Severn Trent Water said.

A report by Water UK showed that wipes made up around 93 per cent of the material causing the sewer blockages which the study investigated.

These wipes, which included a high proportion of baby wipes, are not designed to be flushed.

Less than one per cent of the domestic waste in the blockages was identified as made up of products which are designed to be flushed, such as toilet paper.

It is estimated there are around 300,000 sewer blockages in the UK every year.

50,000 sewer blockages a year

Severn Trent Water revealed it deals with around 50,000 sewer blockages a year – with around 2,000 in Shropshire alone.

James Jesic, managing director of production for Severn Trent, said: “This is costing the country £100 million – money which could be taken off water bills or spent on improving the services we provide. Thousands of properties in our area suffer sewer flooding caused by these blockages every year in the UK.


“This creates misery for homeowners and businesses and leads to high clean-up bills and increased insurance costs.

“Sewer flooding also has a major impact on the environment.

“The new research shows that most of these type of incidents could be avoided by the wipes being disposed of properly, rather than being flushed down toilets.”

Rae Stewart, Water UK’s director of corporate affairs, added: “This study proves that flushing wipes down the toilet is a major cause of sewer blockages, and that means it’s a problem we can all do something about.

“The good news is that by taking action we can help stop the horror people face when their homes are flooded with raw sewage.”

Mark Drew

By Mark Drew

Group Head of News


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