Flush warning for loo roll alternatives

Shoppers looking for loo roll alternatives during the Coronavirus situation are being warned to think twice before flushing them away after use.

Since panic buying has stripped some supermarket shelves of toilet paper, desperate shoppers are turning to kitchen towel, facial tissues or wet wipes instead.

But United Utilities is warning that these alternatives must not be flushed down the toilet after use, they must be disposed of in a bin.

Mike Wood is the Wastewater Network Manager at United Utilities and he said shoppers needed to be careful or they could block up their toilets, drains or sewers: “This could become a huge problem if these alternative products are wrongly flushed away.

“Kitchen towel and wet wipes are designed to stay strong when wet so they don’t break down in the sewers the same way that loo roll does. They will build up and cause blockages, and that will lead to the nightmare of sewage overflowing in or around your home or expensive plumbing bills. That really is the last thing anyone needs at the moment.

“If people do need to buy alternatives to loo roll that’s fine, but please make sure you have a bin in the bathroom and you use it.  That might sound like being on holiday in Greece, but this is really important. Sewer pipes are just not designed for anything other than The Three Ps – that’s Pee, Poo and (toilet) Paper.”

United Utilities routinely deals with around 60,000 blockages in the sewer system every year, largely caused by a build-up of products that should not be flushed such as wet wipes, nappies or sanitary items. The blockage problems are often compounded by fat, oil and grease that is wrongly poured away down the drain, causing the dreaded fatbergs.

For more information visit www.unitedutilities.com/thinkbeforeyouflush