A new report by trade body Water UK has revealed that flushing wet wipes is causing serious problems with the country’s sewerage network – with wipes making up about 93 per cent of all materials causing blockages.

It may be that more education and training needs to be provided so people know what can and can’t be flushed, given that the study found less than one per cent of domestic waste in these blockages was made up of products designed to be flushed (like toilet paper).

Water UK stats show that there are around 300,000 blockages in sewers each year, which costs the economy £100 million. Not only do these blockages result in higher insurance premiums and costs, as well as big clean-up bills, but flooding can also have a very real impact on the environment.

“There are things that water companies can do, such as improve education about what should and shouldn’t be flushed. There are things manufacturers can do, such as make labelling clearer on non-flushable products. And, of course, there are things individuals can do – which is bin the wipes rather than flush them,” Rae Stewart – director of corporate affairs – said.

If you want to see the impact that flushing wet wipes can have, you should head to the Museum of London next year where you’ll be able to take a look at one of the biggest fatbergs found in London. The fatberg, more than 250m long, was clogging up sewers in Whitechapel, made up of grease, wet wipes, oil, fat and sanitary products.

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