SEWERS in Rugby nearly overflowed because of a huge blockage of wipes and sanitary items which should not have been flushed down the toilet.
Avon Mill pumping station, which pushes waste water towards Rugby Sewage Treatment Works, became almost completely clogged up with enough debris to fill a large skip.
A spokesman for Severn Trent Water said the blockage could have flooded homes and gardens with sewage.
Malcolm Smith from Severn Trent said: “Wipes are one of the biggest problems we have to deal with, and, across the region, we’re removing 1,500 tonnes of them from the sewers every single month.
“The issue at Avon Mill was particularly bad and, after the equipment had been cleaned, there were enough wipes and sanitary items to fill a skip.
“When wipes block pipes, it can lead to sewers flooding into homes and gardens, which is one of the most horrible things that can happen to you.
“We don’t want our customers to suffer in this way, and it’s entirely preventable.”
The company, which spends nearly £5million a year to remove wipes and other items from the network, reminded Rugbeians to bin their wipes and only flush the ‘three Ps’ – pee, poo and paper.
Malcolm added: “Even if the wipes are branded as ‘flushable’, that doesn’t mean they’ll break down in the sewers, like toilet paper does.
“Blockages often affect your neighbours further down the street, so what you do in your home could be causing big problems for friends and relatives living nearby.
“Our message is simple – please don’t flush wipes down the toilet, even when they say ‘flushable’. From our point of view they really are not.”
Slow drains or blocked sewers can be reported at www.stwater.co.uk or by calling 0800 783 4444.