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Thames Water launches sewer campaign

Thames Water has launched a campaign to stop customers flushing unsuitable products down toilets.

Thames Water surveyed 500 customers and found that two in five of those who flush inappropriate items, such as cooking fats and oils, down their toilets had blocked drains.

The products can stop sewage from flowing by congealing in the sewers and forming a thick layer around the pipe, particularly when they mix with other items and set hard. Other items responsible for causing “sewer abuse” include nappies, kitchen roll, food waste and condoms.

The company has had to deal with 55,000 blockages in London and the Thames Valley this year, with 7,000 homes and gardens suffering flood damage.

MP for Reading East, Rob Wilson, said: “It is extremely important that sewers and drains are kept clear because sewage flooding into people’s homes and gardens is extremely unpleasant and should be unacceptable. No one should have to put up with this.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • Is that really what their survey said - people flushed cooking fats and oil down their toilets? Surely they'd be much more likely to pour them down the kitchen sink?

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  • To Andrew Taylor. Yes people do put cooking oils and fats down their sinks and it ends up in the sewer system the same as everything they put down their toilets. It ends up as a turgid mess when it reaches the sewage works. Fat, Oil & Grease, or FOG as it's known in the trade, combines in sufficient quantity in sewer pipes congealing to cause restrictions and blockages along the way. 'Rag' is the other offender, things such as baby wipes, condoms, cotton buds, sanitary & kitchen towels, combine to block pipes and pumps. People actually stuff nappies down the loo too, oblivious to the problems they cause.

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