'Solid' mass of wet wipes from 'handful of homes' block 400 metres of sewer

BPM Media
The huge mass of wet wipes was blocking 400 metres of sewer pipes. Credit: Wessex Water/BPM Media

Tens of thousands of wet wipes have been removed after leaving hundreds of metres of sewage pipe blocked.

Wessex Water extracted 400 metres of sewer that was "solid" with wet wipes.The water supply company said the wipes had come from people at a "handful of properties" flushing the wipes down their toilets in Highbridge, Somerset.

Pictures show a mass of wet wipes congealed to form a singular sludgy mass.

A spokesperson for Wessex Water said: "Fortunately, 80% of people remember to bin them as they don’t break down when they are flushed and can block your pipes.

The water firm is urging people not to flush disposable wipes down the toilet. Credit: BPM Media/Wessex Water

"It only takes a small number of houses to create a bigger problem as shown here. It’s why we agree that wipes should be wiped out."

The water firm says wet wipes don't break down in the same way as toilet paper, even if they say they are 'flushable'.

As a result, the firm says it spends £5million clearing around 13,000 blockages every year - with around 75% of those involving disposable items.