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Why do sewers block?

In most cases sewers block as a result of the wrong things being poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet. In fact, around 70% of blockages are caused by sewer misuse. When this happens, sewers get blocked causing raw sewage to flood into homes, gardens, roads and watercourses. Not only is this really unpleasant, it can severely pollute rivers and streams.

Can blockages be avoided?

Did you know on average our teams are called to 45,000 sewer blockages every year? Or that the annual cost of this is a whopping £10 million? Yet in most cases, these expensive blockages can be easily avoided by making sure you don’t slip into bad habits. For example, only ever flush pee, poo and toilet paper down the loo, and always scrape pots, pans and plates into the bin before washing up.

Why can’t I pour oil down the sink?

Fats, oils and greases should never be put down the sink. If they are, they quickly cool in the cold sewers and stick to the side of the pipes, causing blockages. If this happens, all your dirty water can quickly come back to visit you. Instead you should let the fat cool and turn solid, scrape it up, wrap it up then put it in the bin.

Want to know more?

Download sewage soup activity

Use this fun activity to learn how to use sewers and drains responsibly.



Arrange a site tour

Learn about sewage treatment first hand by booking an education site tour. Just call 0330 123 3351.