Severn Trent shares a week of wipes

Monday 18th January

Severn Trent has announced that every week, in every town, around two and a half tones of wipes and other items which shouldn’t be flushed are pulled out of our sewers. That’s about the same weight as a Range Rover. 

Gareth Mead, from Severn Trent, explains: “Wipes are one of the biggest problems we’re dealing with at the moment.  They’re everywhere these days – baby wipes, floor wipes, face wipes – and people simply don’t think before dropping them into the toilet. The problem is that unlike toilet paper, wipes don’t break up or dissolve, so they easily get stuck in drains and sewers and cause blockages.

“These full skips are the result of everyone flushing just one wipe here and there, and not realising the impact that it’s having. Our advice is to stick to flushing the three P’s (pee, poo and toilet paper) and bin anything else. These relatively small changes will make a big difference and hopefully avoid any future blockages.”

The company said that in the last year alone it has been called out to thousands of blockages across the region, of which three quarters were caused by people misusing the sewer system and flushing things like wipes.   

Gareth added: “Many customers may not realise that they 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. It doesn’t take much to cause a blockage and unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, but it’s completely avoidable if you’re careful about what you put down your toilet and bin any unflushables.”

If customers do run into problems, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility they can be reported at or by calling 0800 783 4444.