Wet wipe nightmare in Weymouth

Wessex Water van by a lake and forest

Wessex Water is urging customers to only flush the three Ps – paper, poo and pee – after the company pulled 20kg worth of wet wipes from one of its sewers in Weymouth.

Hundreds of wipes accumulated in the sewer which caused a blockage, resulting in Wessex Water crews coming out to clear it.

The water and sewerage company is also backing Unblocktober, a national campaign and awareness month which aims to improve the health of our drains, sewers, watercourses and seas by encouraging people to improve their kitchen and bathroom habits.

Wessex Water’s Dave West, whose team dealt with the Weymouth blockage, said:

We always ask our customers to dispose of wet wipes correctly, which means putting them in the bin and not down the toilet.

Most wet wipes contain plastic and don’t break down like toilet paper when flushed, causing obstructions that can lead to sewage entering homes and watercourses.

We’re getting behind Unblocktober this year to get the message out there about what should and shouldn’t be put down the toilet.

Dave West, Wessex Water

Wessex Water clears around 13,000 blockages on its network every year at a cost of £5 million, with wet wipes contributing to the vast majority of them.

Even wipes marketed as ‘flushable’ often don’t pass the water industry’s strict Fine to Flush standards, so the company is advising anyone unsure about what to flush to stick to the three Ps.

Wessex Water provided images, which we have decided not to publish in this article (they were disgusting!). You can, however, see the bucketloads here and the blocked wet pipe here.

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