Wet wipes cause of town’s clogged sewers

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Yorkshire Water has revealed that its sewer crusaders have already had to unblock clogged up sewers 2,900 times in Harrogate so far this year.

As a result, the firm is urging customers to flush only the 3Ps - poo, pee and paper - down their toilets.

Nearly a third of the massive amount of sewer blockages were caused by wet wipes being flushed down the toilet, which according to Yorkshire Water, are increasingly being used as a luxury toilet roll.

James Harrison, Technical Manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “In Harrogate, we’re noticing a significant increase in the amount of sewer blockages related to wet wipes in particular.

“We understand information from manufacturers can be quite confusing as some products say flushable on the packaging; however, we would urge people to flush only the 3Ps - poo, pee and paper - down the toilet and to put anything else in the bin to try to prevent sewers from becoming blocked.”

The task of keeping the town’s sewers flowing is with the firm’s team of sewer technicians, dubbed sewer crusaders.

They use high pressure water spray jets to break up blockages and so reduce the risk of sewage backing up into people’s homes.

The width of sewers in the town range from just 15cm to several metres and narrow ones are most prone to blockages, according to the firm.

In the worst case scenario blockages can cause raw sewage waste to back up into people’s homes and cause messy interior flooding.

Across the region as a whole, there have been 50,888 blockages so far this year throughout the 52,500 kilometre sewer network, according to Yorkshire Water.