A water company has launched a new campaign after predicting it will spend more than £1.2 million in unblocking thousands of North East drains.
Northumbrian Water says it will clear more than 17,500 blocked drains and sewers across the region this year. The company says many of them become clogged after people place items down sinks and toilets instead of into the bin.
The 'Love your drain' campaign is aimed at making people aware of what happens to sewers when they become blocked by household items including nappies, pads, and cotton buds.
Richard Warneford, wastewater director for Northumbrian Water, said: "We have developed the 'Love your drain' campaign to help our customers after discovering that most people are unaware that items they regularly put down the toilet or sink could block up the sewers in their neighbourhood.
"The most common cause of blockages are items that claim to be 'flushable', such as cleansing wipes. These products do not break down like toilet paper does when flushed and should always be put in a bin.
"Tackling sewer flooding and reducing blockages is one of our top priorities. The changing climate is something we can't easily control or influence, but we can all play our part in ensuring we respect and look after the sewer network."