how to save water

I have a blockage

Preventing blockages

What can be flushed? The 3P’s

The sewerage system is designed to cope with human waste and toilet paper (Pee, Poo and Paper) only, but a typical wastewater treatment works can remove as much as 40 tonnes of unsuitable domestic waste per week.

‘Bag It and Bin It’ is a water industry campaign to promote the responsible disposal of personal products. Its aim is to reduce the amount of inappropriate material flushed down the toilet.

Disposable personal products are part of everyday life. They are readily available, inexpensive and convenient to use – but they should never be flushed away!

Would you want this to happen to you?

A wastewater drain (sewer) is 10 cms wide and is designed only to take human waste and toilet paper. Other waste can cause blockages leading to out-of-sewer flooding which causes mess and inconvenience and can be a health hazard. Such blockages also cost time and money to fix.

What can you do?

Bag and Bin all of these:

  • Sanitary waste - towels, tampons, applicators, panty liners, backing strips
  • Disposable nappies, liners and baby wipes
  • All wipes ie baby, bathroom, toilet and cleaning
  • Incontinence pads
  • Condoms and femidoms
  • Colostomy bags
  • Bandages and plasters
  • Cotton buds, cotton wool
  • Contact lenses
  • Toothbrushes
  • Place razors and razor blades in a rigid container in the bin
  • Take syringes and needles to a needle bank
  • Return medicines and contraceptives to your local pharmacy.
  • When the label says 'disposable', it does not always mean it can be flushed down the toilet.

Why can't these things be flushed?

Download the 'Dirty Dozen' poster for your premises toilets. As well as blocking the public sewers, personal items can damage the screens which normally filter out the waste at wastewater treatment works. During heavy rainfall these screens are important as the flow in the sewers increases. Flushed personal items reduce the system's efficiency so the items can escape through these damaged screens and pollute rivers and beaches causing a health risk to humans and wildlife.

What are we doing to help?

We are investing million of pounds on upgrading and building new waste water treatment works and systems. This investment programme will take years to complete and even then you should always

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