Sutton identified as a sewer blockage hotspot

BLOCKED -- the horrible mess that Severn Trent workers found when they opened up one sewer in Sutton.
BLOCKED -- the horrible mess that Severn Trent workers found when they opened up one sewer in Sutton.

Residents of Sutton have been ticked off about what they flush down the toilet and pour down the sink after the town was identified as a sewer blockage hotspot.

Severn Trent Water has disclosed that, in the past few years, just 19 roads in Sutton have been plagued by more than 600 sewer blockages.

And it’s all because households are sending the wrong things down their loos or plugholes.

A nasty concoction of kitchen roll, wipes and cooking fat has just been cleared from some sewer pipes. Another item that was flushed down the toilet and got stuck was a tennis ball.

“We decided that enough was enough and went out to tackle the whole area in one go last week,” said Simone Bridge, customer and community lead at Severn Trent.

“Sutton is one of those areas in our region where the number of sewer blockages is much higher than anywhere else, It is a hotspot area, particularly in Warnadene Road.

“Various teams descended on the area last week, and during the exercise, we fdund, and cleared, 14 blockages from just seven roads. On investigation, we found that the vast majority of these were caused solely by misuse.

“Sewer flooding is one of the most horrible things that can happen to our customers, and it’s completely preventable.

“Sewer pipes are only a few inches wide, so it doesn’t take much for them to get blocked up.

“When we spoke to our customers in the Sutton area, many of them were shocked to learn that once cooking fat hits cold pipes, it solidifies and builds up into huge plugs.

“Also, wipes and sanitary products don’t break down in the water. They’re not designed to. When these two come together, it creates a huge fatty and solid mess that blocks up the pipes and causes problems.”

Now Severn Trent is urging residents to think about how they dispose of everyday items, to help keep the sewers flowing efficiently.

“We have spoken with residents informing them that it’s better to wipe out any greasy pans with a bit of kitchen roll and then put it in the bin,” added Mrs Bridge.

“We also recommend that they pour large amounts of left-over cooking grease into a pot or jar with a lid.”