Mansfield pupils learn what not to flush

Pupils at Lake View Primary School in Mansfield have been learning about ‘what not to flush’ from Severn Trent Water’s education team.

The aim of the visit was to improve pupil’s awareness of what should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet.

Pupils took part in an interactive fun assembly learning about what items should be put into the bin instead of flushed down the toilet.

The assembly included some pupils undertaking role play as Severn Trent Water engineers, they then had to unblock a pretend sewer of items which should have been put in the bin include wipes, nappies, dental floss and cotton buds.

Class teacher Caroline Dykes, from Lake View Primary School, said: “Children are now fully aware of what not to put down the toilet! It was a fun and very informative assembly.”

Severn Trent Water says that in the last year it has been called out to nearly 10,000 blockages in the Nottinghamshire area, of which three quarters were caused by people misusing the sewer system. And the figures for this area show that the situation is getting worse.

Edwina Woodward, education co-ordinator for Severn Trent, said: “Many customers may not realise that they are responsible for the waste pipe running away from their home up until it either crosses the property boundary or meets with another waste pipe or sewer.

“Unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, but avoidable, if you’re careful about what you put down your toilet or your sink.

“The drains that take waste water away from your home are only a few inches wide and are only meant to take water, toilet roll and human waste. Remember toilet roll is meant to break down when it gets wet so it washes easily through the system.

“That’s not the case with things like sanitary products or cleansing wipes which can get stuck in smaller drains.

“These sewer blockages, if not identified and cleared can lead to sewers backing up and overflowing into people’s homes and gardens. This is probably one of the most horrible things that can happen to your home, and it’s entirely preventable.

“We are spending millions of pounds every year sending teams into sewers with jetting equipment and sometimes even spades to dig out these blockages.

“Working with schools and getting children to understand ‘what not to flush’ is a great way of starting good habits young and also getting that message back into the home. Let’s hope the fun we had will be remembered.”

If you are interested in taking part in the Severn Trent Water education programme go to to learn more!