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New sewer sensors to detect blockages in pipes

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Severn Trent has chosen Sutton Park in the UK as the latest site for the roll out of its sewer sensors, which will help to prevent blockages caused by cooking fat and other unflushable items.
A total of 150 units will be installed over the next few weeks.
The battery-powered devices use a hanging sensor to detect rising water levels in the sewer and can communicate data back to the central control room. When an alert is triggered, engineers will respond to investigate and clear any blockage that might be forming before it causes a problem for customers or the environment.
Asset planning manager, Margaret Williams, said: “Sewer blockages are really unpleasant for customers, can be costly to fix and damaging to the environment as they can result in flooding and pollution.
“These sensors will play an important role in reducing blockages by giving us an early warning of any build up caused by people putting the wrong things down the toilet and drain before they start to cause an issue.”
Last year the water and waste company responded to over 500 blockages in the area, of which more than three quarters were caused by people flushing the wrong things into the sewer system.
She added: “The sensors will be installed in manholes across the network of pipes, giving us a great level of visibility over what is happening in the sewers and helping us to reduce the chances of customers experiencing the upsetting and unpleasant situation of a blocked pipe or even worse, sewer flooding in or around their home.”