What’s blocking Yorkshire’s pipes?

You might be surprised at the things that shouldn’t go down the drain…

Toilet with stickers that say any type of wipe, this morning's bread trimmings and goldfish that've gone to a better place

Fine to flush

The Fine to Flush ‘wet wipe’ certification will come to an end in March 2024.

Home is where the blockages begin

Toilet with a sticker that says any type of wipe

Don’t rush to flush

All wipes are unflushable. Even the biodegradable ones. If we all flushed ‘just one’, there would be 5.7 million of them causing blockages in Yorkshire’s pipes.

Block-busting tip
Make some room for a little bathroom bin. Or ditch the wipes completely and use a flannel with cleanser - it’s better for your pores, and your pipes!

Kitchen sink with a sticker that says fats and oils from the frying pan

Anywhere but the kitchen sink!

We know pouring hot oil and grease in the bin just doesn’t feel right, (and could melt your bin bag) but the bin is much easier and cheaper to clean than your pipes.

Block-busting tip
To make throwing waste cooking fats in the bin easier, use a container to let it cool and harden before you bin it.

Toilet with a sticker that says any type of tampon or pad

Break the cycle

We hear you. You don’t want to see sanitary items after you’re done with them and the loo is right there, but when it causes a blockage in your drains, it’s more likely to turn up again.

Block-busting tip
Sanitary disposal bags are perfect for keeping tampons and pads sealed until you can throw them in the bin.

None of these should go down our pipes.
Bin it. Don’t block it.

Kitchen sink with stickers that say flats and oils from the frying pan, the bruised bit on your banana and that omelette you scrambled

Imagine a lump of fat weighing the same as a car

Yorkshire’s biggest Fatberg weighed 1.5 tonnes and took up a whopping 60% of the sewer space in some sections, and took four nights for our teams to break down and remove.

46% of blockages in Yorkshire are caused by wipes

Even the flushable wipes block pipes.

Toilet with stickers that say any type of wipe, dirty cotton buds and yesterday's contact lenses
Toilet with stickers that say any type of tampon or pad, random plasters and your after-lunch chewing gum

Elephant-sized problems

We remove 6 tonnes of unflushables, including sanitary items and wipes at our wastewater treatment works every year!

Photographs of blockages

We get it

Pouring and flushing things away feels like the quickest and easiest way to get rid of stuff you don’t want hanging around. But when you put the wrong stuff down the sink or down the loo it can cause messy problems later on...


Did you know...
Liquid fats, oils and greases turn solid in your pipes.

Once inside the pipes they build up and cause blockages that can stop your wastewater moving away from your house, even if you use boiling water.

Wet wipes don’t break down like toilet paper.

They contain plastic fibres that can build up in your pipes, eventually causing a nasty flood in your garden or, worse, your home.

Fats are the glue that hold blockages together

Most sanitary items contain plastics that mix with fats and oils in the pipes to cause big problems, problems that can work their way back into your bathroom.


Bin it. Don’t block it.

Kitchen sink with stickers that say flats and oils from the frying pan, that long forgotten yoghurt, your failed attempt at a chilli

What they do to our environment

Flushing the wrong things and pouring fats, oils, and greases down the sink has a massive impact on the operation of our network. This can lead to restricted toilet use, sewage entering homes and gardens, and sewage escapes into the local environment or pollution to local watercourses.

Bin it. Don't block it. sticker

What we're doing

No one wants to see that mucky old wet wipe again, especially when it’s spent some time down the sewers, but it can happen unless we all make a few simple changes and put a stop to blockages.

We’ve committed £180 million to improving our storm overflows and are working with partners to look at how we do this.
We’re investing millions in improving our network, focusing on the worst-performing areas for sewer flooding.
Our Network Protection Team are out and about working with Food Service Establishments in hotspot areas to reduce blockages caused by fats, oils and greases.

See us in action clearing blockages

Have you ever wondered what it’s like clearing some of Yorkshire’s nastiest blockages? Follow our Waste Jetting Technician Jake as he shows us a day in his life.

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Laptop and mug of tea