World Toilet Day highlights sewer flooding issues

Pink toilet paper

Image via Wikipedia

Last week marked World Toilet Day. This has prompted Drain Doctor to remind people to use their loos responsibly by not sending inappropriate items down the drain.

On average we visit the toilet 2,500 times a year and spend roughly three years of our life on the loo. Often, though, the humble WC (and sometimes the items we put down it) aren’t given a second thought.

Toilet cleansing cloths, face wipes, baby wipes, cotton wool, tampons, sanitary towels, condoms, nappies, razor blades and plasters, along with fats, oils and grease frequently find their way into the sewer system, even though they would be better off in the bin.

Research by the Consumer Council for Water showed that the majority of consumers are unaware that these items can get caught in pipes, building up a blockage over time because, unlike toilet paper, they don’t break down. Blocked drains can either lead to expensive maintenance bills, or worse, sewer flooding.

Three quarters of sewer blockages are caused by people putting items they shouldn’t down the loo or the sink and half of sewer flooding is caused by these blockages.

Any drains or private sewers that carry waste away from the home are the responsibility of the homeowner or the landlord, both inside and outside the property boundary until the point where they connect with the public sewers.

The sewerage company is only responsible for public sewers.

Tony Smith, chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Having your home flooded with sewage is very unpleasant and companies should provide the best customer service possible to prevent it from happening in the first place.

“But consumers have a role to play too by ensuring that household rubbish, including fats, oils and grease stay out of toilets and drains, and instead are put in the bin where they belong.”

Flooding facts

  • Drains from the home are no wider than four inches (100 mm) and are only built to carry water, toilet paper and human waste.
  • If you find it difficult to flush your toilet or notice that water drains away slowly or bubbles in the bottom of your toilet, contact Drain Doctor and clearly explain the symptoms. Do not try to flush the toilet again as this could cause internal flooding.
    If the problem is due to a blockage or fault in your private drain, Drain Doctor can repair it.
  • If sewage has entered your property from a public sewer, the sewerage company will send someone to visit you as soon as possible and help clean your property.

Toilet titbits

  • The first toilet paper was developed in England in 1880, although it wasn’t until 1935 that toilet paper was advertised as ‘splinter free’!
  • Each person uses an average of 57 sheets of toilet paper a day.
  • Most toilets flush in the key of E flat.

1 Comment

Filed under Hints and tips, News, Service

One response to “World Toilet Day highlights sewer flooding issues

  1. Thanks for bringing attention to this important issue. We over at The People’s Own Organic Power Project ( couldn’t agree more that the “flush and forget it” mentality needs a major overhaul–what goes down the drain does matter! Thanks for keeping the world’s pipes running clean, Drain Doctor.

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