Yorkshire Water in the UK revealed that it tackled more than 25,000 blockages in its pipe and sewer network in 2020.
Problems in the sewer network are most often caused by foreign objects – such as wet wipes and plastics being flushed down toilets and fats, oils and greases being poured down drains.
These can become snagged and develop into large blockages that prevent sewage flowing through the network to wastewater treatment works.
Mark Hammond, head of customer field services at Yorkshire Water, said: “Our teams were called to more than 25,000 blockages across our region in 2020. Clearing blockages caused by foreign objects, fats and wet wipes costs millions of pounds– money which could be spent on improving our network and innovative new technologies.
“We would urge our customers to think twice before flushing them, as one wipe may not seem significant, but when combined they create blockages that prevent our network operating correctly. In some instances, these blockages can lead to sewage flooding in homes and the local environment.
“Foreign objects, such as nappies, cotton buds and sanitary products also contribute to blockages across Yorkshire and we also experienced an increase in DIY materials blocking our sewers, particularly during the first lockdown period.”
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