Water supplier warns against flushing toilet paper substitutes - The Rugby Observer

Water supplier warns against flushing toilet paper substitutes

Rugby Editorial 16th Mar, 2020 Updated: 16th Mar, 2020   0

THE DANGERS of flushing toilet paper substitutes down the toilet have been highlighted by the region’s water supplier.

Amid a shortage of toilet paper caused by panic-buying, Severn Trent is encouraging customers not to flush substitutes like wet wipes or kitchen roll which may cause blockages.

Severn Trent’s sewer blockages lead Grant Mitchell said: “We’d like to remind everyone that anything other than toilet roll shouldn’t be flushed down the loo in case it causes any problems.”

“By flushing the wrong thing down the toilet, you could end up blocking our sewer pipes, which could cause issues for you, or for your neighbours or out in the street – and no one wants that during this difficult time.”




Sewer blockages across the region are still around 45,000 per year, three quarters of which are caused by people putting things down their toilets and sinks which they’re not supposed to.

Grant said: “Sewers are only designed to cope with toilet paper and human waste. So some of the things people throw down the toilet, like wet wipes and kitchen roll, can easily snag on the inside of a pipe and block it. And, because some of the sewer pipes are only a few inches wide, any fats or oils you throw down your sink can build up on the inside of it, clogging it up – even if you rinse it off with boiling water.


“Then, when a sewer is blocked the waste has to go somewhere. This means it usually comes out of a drain and can flood roads, or even your home with sewage. And, during times like this, this is the last thing anyone wants.

“But all this can easily be avoided, by people disposing of items in the bin, and not the toilet or sink.”

He added: “We know just how worrying it is for everyone at the moment and we want to reassure our customers that we’re working really hard to keep our essential service running as usual.”

Slow drains or blocked sewers which are Severn Trent’s responsibility can be reported at www.stwater.co.uk or by calling 0800 783 4444.

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