Severn Trent urges customers to avoid flushing loo-roll alternatives

Wednesday 4th November 2020

With supermarkets once again rationing toilet paper amid reports of panic buying, Severn Trent is encouraging its customers to avoid flushing any potential substitutes, such as wet wipes or kitchen roll, down the toilet.

Severn Trent’s sewer blockages lead, Grant Mitchell, said: “We understand that this is a worrying time and we want to reassure our customers that we’re working hard to keep our essential service running as usual.   

“During the first national lockdown we noticed a lot of blockages caused by substitute items, and while we understand that the fear of flushing the wrong thing down the toilet is likely to be quite low on everyone’s list of priorities at the moment, we’re keen to avoid any unpleasant issues for you or your neighbours.

Sewer blockages across the region are still around 40,000 per year, three quarters of which are caused by people putting the wrong things down their toilets and sinks.

Grant continued: “Sewers are only designed to cope with toilet paper and human waste. Other things like wet wipes and kitchen roll do not break down in pipes and can easily cause a blockage. When a sewer is blocked the waste must go somewhere and that is usually back out of the drain and into the roads or even your home, which is the last thing that anyone wants. 

“The good news is that this can be easily avoided by disposing of any substitute items in the bin, instead of the toilet.”

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