Giant mass of wet wipes clogs Coventry and Warwickshire sewers

Credit: Severn Trent

Severn Trent has released grim images to highlight how Coventry and Warwickshire sewers are regularly clogged with wet wipes, fats, oils and grease.

The firm says that giant congealed masses are regularly found in sewer networks because they have been wrongly disposed of down the drain.

The images show examples of where pipes have been found blocked in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Grant Mitchell, from Severn Trent, urged householders to think twice about what is put down the drain. "From underwear and false teeth to tennis balls and tyres, we've had some bizarre things make there way into our sewer network over the years," he said.

Credit: Severn Trent

"But it's the day-to-day items, such as wet wipes, cotton buds, sanitary products and cooking oils, that can create the biggest issues in our region’s sewer networks. These giant congealed masses often cause big problems when they arrive at sewage treatment works.

"However, in the worst-case scenario, they don't even make it to the works, instead blocking sewer pipes, which can lead to wastewater backing up into homes, gardens and rivers.

"Preventing our sewers from becoming blocked could save numerous pollutions each year and would be a key step in our journey to making our regions rivers the healthiest they can be."

Credit: Severn Trent

He added that most sewer pipes only have a diameter of around 150mm – or slightly larger than an average roll of toilet paper – so it can be easy for a blockage to form.

"To avoid blockages we advise waiting for cooking fats, oils and greases to cool before disposing of them in the bin and only flushing the three Ps – pee, paper and poo. Anything else should go in the bin," he said.