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Residents asked not to flush wet wipes down toilets

The sewage system in this country copes with a phenomenal volume and variety of materials that are flushed into it from households and other sources. However, some of those materials cause problems.

In particular, wet wipes, that are promoted by manufacturers as "flushable", actually are a cause of many problems in sewage systems. Unlike toilet paper, they do not break down easily and they become entangled in other materials such as fat lumps and can build up in size to form large blockages.

Wet wipes are a particular problem in areas that rely upon small local pumping stations. This is often the case on new estates where sewage has to be pumped uphill off the estate before joining the main gravity-fed sewage system. For example, in The Glebe in Tregony, the latest part of the estate comprising 15 properties has its own pumping station at the end of the road. Blockages have occurred because of items such as wet wipes being flushed down the toilets. When blockages occur here, the result is sewage overflowing on the road in front of houses.

Would all residents please follow the guidance which is "Only pee, poo and paper (the 3 Ps)" down the toilet.

South West Water has distributed information leaflets to residents across its area emphasising this message. In addition, a commercial company, Lanes Group of Manchester produces a very helpful leaflet, see below, and have designed the very neat logo "Wipes block pipes". These have been reproduced here by kind permission of Lanes Group. To download a better quality copy of the leaflet, click on Lanes for Drains

October 2015

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