Our sewers and drains are designed to carry the three Ps – Pee, Poo and Paper (toilet).
However, every 15 minutes, our teams deal with a blockage in our network, clearing around 40,000 in a year.
80% of sewer blockages are avoidable and caused by items that should be put into the bin.
For decades, the nation has been putting food scraps, fat, oil and grease down the sink and wipes, period care products, cotton buds, nappies and much more down the loo.
These items quickly mix with other sewer debris to create a blockage known as a FATBERG. This can lead to sewer flooding in homes and pollution of the local environment, which is distressing, costly to put right, and potentially devastating for wildlife and our local waterways and seas.
This month isn’t just October, it’s Unblocktober - the world’s first month-long national awareness campaign, driven completely by the British public, to improve the health of our drains, sewers, watercourses and seas.
To help raise awareness of the plight of the humble sewer and support the Unblocktober campaign, we’re encouraging everyone to keep an eye on what you put down the drain and commit to only putting the three Ps down there, not just during October but every day of the year.
During heavy storm events, blocked sewers can’t deal with the rapid increase in the amount of used water flowing through them and will push their content out into home, streets and gardens. It’s also been known for diluted sewage water to discharge into rivers and watercourses or get washed out to sea and end up on beaches.
Our Pollution Watch campaign If you’re out and about and see pollution in local rivers, streams or any watercourse from our pipes or other equipment, please report it to us immediately. Take a look for more information.
With the longest coastline of any English water company, our coastal campaign is engaging with holidaymakers and those who live by the sea to help reduce the impact of plastic and sewage debris on our beaches.