Foul flushing leads to pipe problems over festive period


Throughout December, Northumbrian Water employees cleared 1001 blockages in the sewer networks right across the North East.

Over 70% of all of the blockages that Northumbrian Water technicians had to deal with in December were as a result of wet wipes and fats, oils and grease being wrongly flushed down the drain.

And when cleared, 719 of these were found to be made up of wet wipes and fats, oils and grease that had been wrongly flushed.

Putting anything other than paper, pee and poo down the loo causes drains, pipework and sewer networks to clog and block.

This can then lead to sewers flooding, peoples′ homes being affected and expensive plumbing bills and repair costs, not to mention the impact on the environment!

The days that saw the most pipe related problems for technicians were Wednesday 27th December (47 blockages) and Thursday 28th December (55 blockages).

The most problematic areas for these blockages were NE34 in South Tyneside, TS10 in Redcar and DL1 in Darlington.

Northumbrian Water Wastewater Director Richard Warneford said:

"When technicians get down into the networks and unclog the blockages, they find that wet wipes and baby wipes are the main culprit. The wipes ‘snag′ in pipes and build up causing monster blockages in the pipes and misery for home owners.

"Following closely behind are fats, oils and grease that have wrongly been poured down the sink. These congeal and clag to pipes and build up creating fatbergs and huge blobs that can block entire sewers and networks.

"To help us in the battle against blockages then, as our very own Dwaine Pipe says, make sure that ‘Only paper, pee and poo go down the loo′. Everything else should be disposed of in the right ways."

All the information you need can be found here

Images: Just some of the rag monsters pulled from our pipes!

For further media information, call 0191 3015678.

Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customers in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.

In the most recent survey by the Consumer Council for Water, Northumbrian Water was named the UK′s most trusted water company by its customers. 2017 also saw Northumbrian Water named the world′s most ethical water company for the seventh successive year and Utility of the Year at the Utility Week Awards, for the second time in four years.

Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5FJ. Telephone 0345 6047468. Website:

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