The blockages are costing the UK £100 million annually
According to a study from Water UK, baby wipes comprise 93% of material accounting for hundreds of thousands of sewage blockages in the UK sewer system. Annually, this costs the country roughly £100 million.
Rae Stewart, Water UK’s director of corporate affairs, claims the study shows that such blockages are a problem that can be fixed by citizens of the UK through changed habits.
“There are things that water companies can do, such as improve education about what should and shouldn’t be flushed,” said Stewart. “There are things manufacturers can do, such as make labelling clearer on non-flushable products. And, of course, there are things individuals can do - which is bin the wipes rather than flush them.”
The number of sewage blockages per year in the UK is around 300,000, and the money spent remedying these backups could be either removed from bills or put to use improving the overall sewage situation.
The study follows an incident earlier this year in which a sewage mass the length of two football pitches and weighing as much as 11 double decker buses caused a blockage in east London.