Love your drain

Simple tips to keep your drains clear

Love your drain

It′s easy to keep your drain clear with simple tips from Dwaine Pipe.

The only things you should put down the loo are toilet paper, pee and poo! Anything else makes Dwaine Pipe blocked up and very poorly. So always throw wipes, nappies, cotton buds, cotton wool, pads, tampons, applicators, dental floss, contact lenses, plasters, bandages, tablets and other bathroom waste into a bin.

Even items that claim to be flushable, such as face wipes or cleaning wipes, should always be placed in a bin. These products do not dissolve when they are flushed and will clog up your pipes. Keeping your drains clear is easy if you scrape grease from plates, pans and roasting trays into a bin before washing up. You might not know this, but greasy liquid hardens in your drain pipe as it cools down and can form a blockage..

Who is responsible for fixing blocked drains?

More than half of the 17,500 blockages we expect to clear this year are easily preventable by putting “disposable items” such as wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products in a bin, rather than down the toilet. Always put kitchen grease in the bin, rather than down the sink.

If you experience problems with pipework that is our responsibility, then we will fix it at no cost to you, but some drains and sewers are the responsibility of the householder and these can cost time and money to fix.

If you experience a blocked drain and are unsure whose responsibility it is, then more information is available here or call our customer team on 0845 717 1100 for advice.

Helping the environment

Northumbrian Water has invested more than £1billion over the last 20 years on improvements to coastal and river waters around the North East, but you can do your bit to protect the environment too.

The latest Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch report shows that 5% of all litter on beaches is from items that are flushed down the toilet. Cotton buds are one of the most frequently found items on beaches.

Our operators spend a lot of time cleaning debris from the screens at treatment works and sending it to landfill. This is a very unpleasant job and a waste of resources. Smaller items, like cotton buds, can still squeeze through the screens during the treatment process and end up on beaches and riverbanks.

Litter is unsightly, unpleasant and can be very dangerous, especially to children,
so please help protect our environment by disposing of personal waste in a bin
and not down the toilet.

New parents

Becoming a new parent is incredibly exciting and there will definitely be a lot of extra nappies, wipes and cotton wool around the house as new babies are changed ten times a day on average. But what do you do with all of this extra waste? You might not know this but half of blockages are caused by disposable items like wipes, nappies, cotton wool and cotton buds being flushed down the toilet instead of being put in a bin. Although these items are often marketed as 'flushable' and look like they disappear when you flush your loo, they do not break down like toilet paper does and can easily clog up pipes. Remember that only toilet paper, pee and poo go down the loo, everything else goes in the bin.

Downloadable content

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    Dwaine Pipe′s top tips on how to avoid a blocked drain

    Keeping your drain clear is easy, just follow these tips from Dwaine.


  2. thumb

    Love your drain

    Northumbrian Water spent £1 million clearing sewer blockages last year which could have an impact on your water bills in the future. We need your help.


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Dwaine Pipe  

Hello, my name is Dwaine Pipe. I’m here to help you learn what can go down your toilet and sink and what should go in the bin. Find out more



Northumbrian Water works closely with local businesses to encourage responsible disposal of food waste and kitchen fats, oils and grease (FOG). Find out more

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