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Blockages

Let’s make Yorkshire blockage free!

We’re campaigning to drive down blockages in Yorkshire 

We’re investing in sewer network improvements and maintenance and continuously striving to improve the service we deliver to customers. Our sewer network needs your help too, so we’ve set up engagement teams to work with you in key areas of Yorkshire. They’re out and about speaking with customers and letting them know what should and shouldn’t be flushed down the loo or rinsed down the sink.

If you see them then why not make your own pledge and help spread the word that we’d love to see a blockage free Yorkshire!

The Wipesaur

Most of us know that flushing wipes or rinsing fat, oil or grease down the sink causes problems, and some of our customers have even experienced these problems in their own homes. The majority of the time these problems are unseen such as the buildup of congealed fat in the sewer network, mixed with other unsuitable items which form together to create fatbergs.

In a bid to really raise the profile of what happens when unsuitable items end up in the sewer network, we’ve brought one of these unseen monsters to life. The Wipesaur is an 8ft tall dino fatberg made up of everything you thought you’d never see again, and he’s out with our engagement teams showing customers just why we need to be careful with what we flush or rinse. 

Flushing wipes, blocks pipes!

We love people who put things in the bin and don’t flush anything other than three Ps (pee, poo and paper).

If you flush wipes and other sanitary items like cotton buds down your loo, or wash leftover cooking fat, oil and grease down your sink, you could cause a blockage in your pipes.

With nowhere else to go, your waste water could end up pouring back up and out into your kitchen or bathroom. And nobody wants that!

Watch our home movie horror shows below to see the real damage that blocked drains and sewers can cause.

Our do’s and don’ts:
Follow our handy hints and tips to keep your home safe from blocked drains and pipes, which could cause waste water to back-up and overflow, causing serious damage to your home.

Bin it, don’t block it!
Toilets are only designed to remove human waste and toilet roll. You can buy wipes that are say they’re ‘flushable’ on the packaging but most people don’t realise, they can actually take years to break down and are a major cause of blocked pipes. Other items like sanitary products, condoms, cotton buds, nappies and hair can block your pipes too and could result in a flooded bathroom.

Keep sinks fat free!
Don't wash away leftover fat, oil and greasy sauces down your sink. It can solidify in your pipes like a block of lard, creating a blockage that stops waste water draining away, meaning it could come back up through your plug hole.

Bin it for Yorkshire!
Let leftover fat, oil and grease cool, then pour into a suitable container and put it in the bin. Wipe pots and pans out with kitchen roll before washing up or placing in a dishwasher. Sink strainers are a great idea for catching stray greasy food scraps too.

How are we helping our customers?

Did you know that around 40% of all blockages in sewers in Yorkshire are caused by people putting the wrong things down their toilets and sinks?

Reducing the number of blockages in our sewers is a massive job and, as well as asking our customers to do their bit by thinking carefully about what they're putting down their sinks and toilets, we remain 100% committed to doing everything we can to reduce the number of sewer flooding incidents in the region.

Over the next five years we're investing £252 million to improve the quality of our sewer network and, when you have 20,000 miles of sewerage pipework to look after that takes away sewage from nearly 2 million homes, it’s no mean feat to keep things flowing.

To help customers get into the good habit of putting the right things in the bin and not the loo, we’re offering FREE anti-blockage packs - Follow the link below to our approved suppliers order page.

Order your FREE pack

What’s in our sewers?

We have turned to an ingenious new invention to help us keep our sewers clear. Working with Wrexham-based Whirlwind Utilities we are trialling a brand new technique that will clean sewers with a high-pressured mix of air and water.

In Yorkshire there were 35,000 blockages last year - nearly 6,000 of these over winter - which cost more than £8m to clear. The amazing Whirlwind innovation clears blockages from sewers using a combination of air and water which is shot out of a high-pressured jet. This high powered mix blasts blockages down the pipes to free up the flow.

The Whirlwind reduces the water needed to clean a kilometre of 150mm pipe by 95% - enough to provide a typical family of four with water for around 90 days.

However, it's important that all customers still realise they have an important part to play to help reduce the risk of sewer blockages and flooding. Anything other than human waste and loo roll should not be put down the toilet or drain and it's still vitally important that people do the right thing and make sure they dispose of their rubbish in the correct way, rather than risk blocking our sewers and potentially flooding their own homes with sewage.

Between 2015 and 2020 we plan to invest £252m in improving the region's sewage infrastructure and, if the trial goes well, the roll out of the Whirlwind technology on a much larger scale is something that we'll be looking to implement.