Warning over putting wet wipes down the toilet

Residents are being asked to ditch single-use wet wipes to help protect the environment and reduce the risk of sewer flooding to homes.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 7:00 am
A sewer blockage caused by wet wipes.
A sewer blockage caused by wet wipes.

Northumbrian Water has issued the plea as its sewers continue to be clogged up by wrongly flushed wipes and from customers using their toilets as a bin.

The company is asking customers to think about switching to reusable and natural alternatives such as flannels, bamboo cleansing pads, muslin cloths, charcoal sponges which are often found to be more eco-friendly and considered better for the skin by experts.

Simon Cyhanko, head of wastewater networks at Northumbrian Water, said: "There is such a vast range of wet wipes available on the market, from face wipes, to baby and cleaning wipes.

"Wet wipes are by far the main cause of blockages in our sewer network.

"We understand these products are convenient to use and we are certainly not advising people not to use them.

“If customers want to continue using wipes then all we ask is to make one simple change – and that's to Bin the Wipe. Toilets are not a bin.

"We want to give people some food for thought and consider opting for more traditional alternatives, which are just as good but often better for the environment and can help save customers money too.

"Wet wipes may leave your toilet bowl when flushed, but can clog up your plumbing and cause avoidable plumber callout charges.

“Even biodegradable products often don't break down as quickly as toilet paper and can linger in sewer pipes, contributing to blockages."