1. ITV Report

'The unflushables': Toilet roll substitutes blocking London's sewers during coronavirus crisis

Water companies are asking customers to be careful what they flush after a rise in blockages caused by "toilet roll substitutes".

Credit: Thames Water

Thames Water said engineers had removed three huge blockages from the inlet filter screens at Beddington sewage works in Croydon in just three weeks.

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Southern Water has also recently asked people to only flush toilet paper. Wet wipes or kitchen roll have frequently been found lurking in sewers in the past couple of weeks.

Normally we only need to jet wash the inlet screens every two to three months. Last month alone we did it three times.

We appreciate and understand everyone is using wipes more and washing their hands a lot more as recommended.

Wipes and things like kitchen roll if used instead of toilet paper can’t go down the loo. As nasty as it sounds, if people do use them as a last resort they need to put them in a bin and dispose of them safely.

– Adrian Wallis, Beddington sewage works manager

Beddington sewage works treats the waste water of 405,000 people in Croydon, Thornton Heath and Carshalton.