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Catchment Management

Leeds customers pledge to stop flushing ‘flushable’ wipes

Over 99% of Leeds customers surveyed, who previously flushed wipes down the toilet, have vowed never to do so again after finding out the potential disgusting consequences.

Some customers were unaware that so called ‘flushable wipes’ contain plastic which don’t break down in the sewer system. The plastics then build up and cause a blockage which could lead to whatever gets flushed down the toilet, coming back up.

To help spread the message that flushing wipes blocks pipes, Yorkshire Water deployed an eight-foot tall ‘Wipesaur’ alongside members of the Yorkshire Water event team at supermarkets and on the high street.

After hearing about the Yorkshire Water campaign, 99% of those asked by QA research said they would change their ways.

There were similar results when it came to customers who rinsed fats, oils or grease down the sink. Those substances can solidify in pipes and like wipes cause blockages in the network. When made aware 92% of customers said they now “definitely won’t”.

Yorkshire Water campaign lead, Adrian Flanagan, said: “Blockages in our network are a big issue for us and LS8 and LS9 are hotspots.

“It is great to see our consumers speaking to the event team and taking the valuable messages away with them. Wipes do not break down and can quickly build up, causing blockages which are not only unpleasant but can cost homeowners a lot of time and money to clear up.

“There’s a simple rule for things you should flush down the toilet; stick to the three Ps – pee, poo and paper.”

Every year, Yorkshire Water is called out to repair more than 30,000 sewer blockages across the region, costing £2.4 million with 40% of these blockages being caused by wet wipes flushed down toilets.

The company has also set up a £40,000 community fund for charities in one of four areas, including Leeds, to encourage customers to reduce the number of blockages in their areas.

The community organisations and charities in the area which keep the sewers the cleanest will be awarded their share of the money.

To apply for funding and read the full terms and conditions please visit: www.yorkshirewater.com/antiblockage. The deadline for applications is Sunday 19th May.

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