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Gloucestershire Business News

Warning not to get flushed away with substitutes

Severn Trent has urged customers not to flush wet wipes or kitchen roll if they are unable to get hold of toilet paper due to panic buying.

The water company said it saw a lot of blockages caused by substitute items during lockdown earlier this year.

Sewer blockages lead Grant Mitchell said: "We understand this is a worrying time and we want to reassure our customers we're working hard to keep our essential service running as usual.

"While we understand that the fear of flushing the wrong thing down the toilet is likely to be quite low on everyone's list of priorities at the moment, we're keen to avoid any unpleasant issues for you or your neighbours.

There are around 40,000 sewer blockages across the region each year, three quarters of which are caused by people putting the wrong things down their toilets and sinks.

Mr Mitchell said: "Sewers are only designed to cope with toilet paper and human waste. Other things like wet wipes and kitchen roll do not break down in pipes and can easily cause a blockage.

"When a sewer is blocked the waste must go somewhere and that is usually back out of the drain and into the roads or even your home, which is the last thing that anyone wants.

"The good news is that this can be easily avoided by disposing of any substitute items in the bin, instead of the toilet."

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