Severn Trent battle wet wipe blockages across the region

Friday 30th July

Severn Trent is reminding customers to avoid flushing wet wipes down the toilet following a recent increase in blockages caused by wipes across the region. 

Severn Trent’s sewer blockages lead, Grant Mitchell said: “These blockages are all the result of people flushing one wipe here and there, and not realising that it’s collecting in the pipe and creating a big problem. Blockages of this size can easily cause sewer flooding, which would be awful to experience and can be devastating for homes, businesses and the environment.

“Many people also don’t realise that a lot of wet wipes, even the ones that are labelled as ‘flushable’, contain plastic, which means that they don't break down in the sewers in the same way that toilet paper does. 

“Certain brands of toilet wipes have started to sell a new product, which is actually more of a moist toilet tissue – they don’t contain plastic and are safe to flush down the toilet, as they will break down in the sewer.

These wipes carry the ‘Fine to Flush’ symbol on their packaging, which means they have been stringently tested by independent technical experts to ensure they’re safe to flush. We recommend that customers look out for these wipes, as they are less likely to cause a blockage if they get dropped down the loo!”

Grant added: “If everyone kept a bin in their bathroom and binned their wipes, or only flushed wipes which meet the  ‘Fine to Flush’ standard, we could easily prevent the majority of these blockages from occurring.”

A video comparing 'Flushable' and 'Fine To Flush' wipes can be found here.

More information on avoiding blockages can be found here. If you do run into problems, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility you can report it here or by calling 0800 783 4444.