Sussex tops bad flushers league

Posted On 10 Nov 2015 at 4:36 pm

Sussex households are sending 2,500 tonnes of unflushable items down their toilets to the sewers, causing thousands of blockages a year.

A Southern worker with rag retrieved from the sewers. Picture by Ciaran McCrickard of Connors

A Southern worker with rag retrieved from the sewers. Picture by Ciaran McCrickard of Connors

The region has topped a Southern Water hitlist of the worst offenders when it comes to flushing “rag” – anything incorrectly dumped down the toilet which does not break down in water – from wipes to nappies and needles, toys and tampons.

Southern Water reports more than 7,000 blockages in our sewers due to thousands of tons of rubbish incorrectly flushed down customer toilets – costing millions to remove.

Christmas recycling

Sewers and treatment works are built to deal with human waste and water, yet every year in the UK we flush away two billion items that shouldn’t go down the loo.

Southern Water sewer man Stuart Slark said, “The only things that should be flushed down the toilet are the three Ps – pee, poo and paper. For everything else – Bag it and Bin it. It costs our customers £1.8 million a year to have this removed and keep our sewers flowing. Taking simple steps can help save your money and our time.

“Over the years we’ve found some strange things dumped in our sewers including false teeth, teddy bears, dead pets and adult toys.”

Toilet paper decomposes naturally and can be flushed away safely, but non-biodegradable items, such as wet wipes, should be put in the bin.

Wet wipes are one of the biggest causes of blockages in sewers and at wastewater treatment works. Even wipes described as “flushable” cause blockages and the biodegradable ones often don’t spend long enough in the sewer to start to decompose.

For more information visit: https://www.southernwater.co.uk/bag-it-bin-it

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