Severn Trent gives customers the scoop on the sewers and asks them to stop the block 

16th April 2024

Severn Trent is giving customers the scoop from the sewers, showcasing the weird and wacky things that have been found and asking everyone to work together to help tackle the thousands of blockages the teams deal with.

In the past year, waste crews at the water company have managed and cleared an astonishing 28,782 blockages, something that could have been avoided if wet wipes were put in the bin rather than down the toilet and sink.

To get people thinking about what should and shouldn't be put down the toilet and sink, Severn Trent is launching ‘Sewer Stories’, showcasing the work that waste teams do to keep sewers clear and some of the weird things they find down in the sewers, which has included everything from false teeth to car tyres.

One of the biggest offenders of blockages is wet wipes. Even some that say ‘flushable’ or ‘biodegradable’ on the packaging don’t break down like toilet paper, in fact, they just cause massive issues when flushed, including blockages that back up and cause sewage to flood into homes – something which is not nice for householders and also costly to fix.

Around two and a half tones of wipes and other items which shouldn’t be put down the toilet are pulled out of our sewers, around the same weight as an African Elephant.

Other culprits for causing blockages are kitchen roll, cotton buds, nappies and sanitary products. When all these are congealed together with fats, oils and greases, which also shouldn’t be put down the sink, they create fatbergs, so everyone is now being asked to be a binner, not a blocker so they don’t fall foul of a blockage and have a very expensive mess to clear up.

Grant Mitchell, sewer blockages lead at Severn Trent, said: “Wet wipes and other unflushables are a huge problem for our sewers, which in turn is causing big problems for our customers.

“We are reminding everyone not to put anything down the toilet other than the three P’s, that’s pee, poo and paper and our Sewer Stories will get that message across and showcase the work that the teams do, how blockages are managed by our teams and what they need to do to avoid creating them.

“We have more than 28,000 blockages a year caused by wet wipes and other unflushables. We are working hard to keep the sewers clear and in the best possible working order, but by working together and only putting these things down the toilet it will greatly improve sewer health, which will keep everyone protected from unnecessary hassle of blockages.”

“Our Sewer Stories will get the message across about the work that the teams do, how blockages are managed by our teams and what customers need to do to avoid creating them.”

If any of these unflushables make it through the network to a Severn Trent sewage treatment works, it is the responsibility of the teams on site to deal with them. 

Unflushables are filtered out through the sewage treatment system, ending up in skips, where it can then be collected and taken to landfill.

For further information and advice about blockages visit and keep an eye out on Severn Trent social media for the Sewer Stories.

Anyone who has a problem, either with slow drains or a blocked sewer it can be reported here or by calling 0800 783 4444.