30 March 2020
Share this story:
Battle Blockages by Binning Toilet Unflushables30 March 2020
People must bin alternatives to toilet paper not flush them away after Scottish Water teams dealt with more than 1300 blockages in 10 days.
“We are calling for the support of our customers to do the right thing and not contribute to avoidable sewer chokes.””Garry Kirkwood
Sewer Repsonse Manager, Scottish Water
Between March 16 and today (Monday March 30) “choke squads” cleared a total of 1343 blocked sewer pipes across the country.
Scottish Water frontline teams are working around the clock to ensure the country’s water supplies and waste water services continue to deliver for five million people.
However, preventable problems like toilet and sewer blockages caused by flushing items which are not biodegradable in the same way that toilet paper does, places added pressure on resources.
Customers are being asked to help protect the waste water network by sticking to the simple 3Ps guidance and flushing only pee, poo and toilet paper.
Garry Kirkwood, Scottish Water’s sewer response manager, said: “Products like wipes, kitchen roll, blue roll and others are not designed to break up in the sewer system and risk causing internal flooding to homes, additional health risks and environmental pollution.
“Some of these items simply won’t make it beyond customers’ toilet pipes. Wipes however are a major cause of the blocks we see in the sewer network.
“This can be an extremely distressing experience for people and cause significant damage to property. We are calling for the support of our customers to do the right thing and not contribute to avoidable sewer chokes.”
Scottish Water responds to around 3000 sewer chokes every month. About 1 billion litres of waste water are treated every day in Scotland.
The waste water drain which goes from a house to the public sewer is usually only about 4 inches wide, which is around the diameter of a DVD, and can easily become blocked by a build-up of un-flushable materials.
Scottish Water choke squads will currently have minimal direct contact with affected customers in accordance with social distancing guidance.
Scottish Water customers can learn more about what they can do to keep the cycle running, what should not be flushed down toilets or poured down sinks and how they can save their drains, protect their homes, their neighbours’ homes and the local environment at www.scottishwater.co.uk/cycle.