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Yorkshire Water to spread wet wipe message on Watchdog

Yorkshire Water will be spreading the message about the dangers of flushing so-called “flushable” wet wipes to the environment as well as to inside people’s homes on tomorrow (Thursday) night’s Watchdog Live.

The company has promoted its anti-blockage message for a number of years and jumped at the opportunity to show the flagship BBC One show how it removes the troublesome wipes from the network. Watchdog Live accompanied one of the company’s Cityflex vehicles, filming how it uses CCTV to find the blockage before watching the powerful jet clear the pipe. The film crew then headed over to Knostrop Energy & Recycling Centre in Leeds, to see where some of the recovered wipes are collated and find out their final destination.

Yorkshire Water clears 30,000 blockages a year, with 40% of those caused by wipes, spending a whopping £2.4m a year.

Wet wipes, including so-called ‘flushable’ wipes, don’t break down in the sewer system as they contain plastic which builds up over time and can cause a blockage. If the waste has nowhere else to go it will back up in the sewer, often returning to where it came from, causing internal flooding in customers’ homes. Wipes can also end up in water courses and in the sea, causing damage to sea life.

Mark Hammond, Yorkshire Water, Head of Customer Field Service, who appears in the piece, said: “Wet wipes in our network is a huge issue for us. We spend millions each year on clearing wipes. Money which could be spent on improving our network or investing in innovation.

“We were thrilled to invite Watchdog Live along so they could see the headaches they cause both us as a company, but more importantly, our customers.”

For more information about Yorkshire Water’s blockages campaign, go to www.yorkshirewater.com/blockages