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.”