Severn Trent releases grim image of ‘rag skip’ full of wet wipes and other items that shouldn’t be flushed
and live on Freeview channel 276
A UK water firm has revealed the extent of sewage misuse in its region in the space of just one week - the majority being flushed wet wipes. Severn Trent said wet wipes are “one of the biggest problems” causing sewer flooding in people’s homes.
The company reported on February 8 that some rag skips at its treatment works were overflowing with items that should not be flushed and blamed wet wipes as the main culprit. In the last year alone, it said it has been called out to thousands of blockages across the region.
Grant Mitchell, Severn Trent FOG Strategy Lead, said: “Wipes are one of the biggest problems causing sewer blockages – people flush them down the toilet and don’t think about the impact.
“Unlike toilet paper, wipes don’t break up or dissolve, so they easily get stuck in drains and sewers causing blockages. FOG (Fats, oils and greases) incorrectly poured down the sink can attach to wipes and cause fatbergs.
“The huge amount of rag in the skips, like the ones pictured, builds up weekly and are a consequence of people flushing the odd wipe down the toilet here and there, not realising the impact it can have. Blockages can cause sewage to back up into people’s homes, the street or even into the local environment and it’s totally avoidable.”
Grant said the company has advised the people to stick to flushing the three P’s - pee, poo and (toilet) paper and bin anything else. He added these small changes will make a big difference and avoid any future blockages.
People are responsible for the waste pipe running away from their home up until it either crosses the property boundary or meets with another waste pipe or sewer.
He added: “We often hear that people don’t realise they’re responsible for the waste pipe running away from their home - unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, which nobody wants right now.”
“So this is another reason why it’s worth thinking about what you’re flushing down the toilet,” adds Grant. “If customers could spread these messages with their friends, family and neighbours it will help us tackle this problem much quicker and would mean fewer blockage nightmares.”