By Gary Smee Friday 27 December 2013 Updated: 27/12 10:05
BOROUGH residents are being urged to think about what they flush down the toilet and pour in the sink after millions of pounds were spent clearing blockages in the last year.
Severn Trent Water is spending about £10million annually clearing things such as nappies, wipes and cotton buds from its network.
Over the last 12 months it has been called out to clear more than 3,000 blockages in the county, three-quarters of which were blamed on people misusing the sewer system and Severn Trent bosses have said this number is on the rise.
Hundreds of blockages are also being caused by grease and fat being washed away in the sink.
Richard Rogers, waste water manager for Severn Trent, said: “We call this ‘sewer misuse’ and what we mean is people washing fats, oils and greases down the sink which then solidify when they hit the sewers and block them.
“Blockages are also caused by people putting sanitary products such as nappies and wipes down the toilet rather than in the bin.
“It’s easy to assume the warm grease and fat left over from your Sunday dinner would be okay to dump down the sink, as long as you wash it down with a lot of hot soapy water. But the reality is that quite quickly the fat and grease will cool and solidify, building up and blocking the drain or sewer.”
Mr Rogers said people should wipe out any greasy pans with a bit of kitchen roll then put it in the bin, or pour large amounts of left over cooking grease into a pot or jar with a lid, or one of the free fat traps that Severn Trent provides to its customers.
“Many customers may not realise that they are responsible for the waste pipe running away from their home up until it either crosses the property boundary or meets with another waste pipe or sewer,” he added.
“The drains that take waste water away from your home are only a few inches wide and are only meant to take water, toilet roll and human waste.
“These sewer blockages, if not identified and cleared can lead to sewers backing up and overflowing into people’s homes and gardens.
“We are spending millions of pounds every year sending teams into sewers with jetting equipment and sometimes even spades to dig out these blockages.”
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