ToDAY is the 10th anniversary of World Toilet Day and householders are being told not to use their loo as a rubbish bin.
Yorkshire Water says every day thousands of products have to be removed from waste water entering treatment works across the region. Wet wipes, nappies, sanitary products and toys are among the items.
And many don’t even make it that far as the company has to spend millions of pounds each year clearing blockages along its 54,000km sewer network.
More than a thousand properties were also flooded internally last year due to sewers being blocked.
Simeon Turner, sewer flooding project manager, said: “It’s really important that customers understand the impact that disposing of things incorrectly down their toilet and sink can have on their homes.
“It’s all too easy to get rid of items such as wipes and sanitary products by putting them down the loo, but we want customers to think before they flush and remember that such actions can cause blockages in our sewers which can, and do, lead to homes – including often their own – being flooded with raw sewage, which is a deeply unpleasant situation and one we want no customer to suffer.”
It is estimated that over two billion sanitary items such as condoms, tampons and wipes are flushed down the toilet every year in the UK.
More unusual items which have had to be removed from Yorkshire’s sewers in recent years include a trolley, television, kitchen sink, prosthetic limb, handcuffs and even on one occasion, a live dog.
Yorkshire Water is spending approximately £100 million over the next four years to help reduce the risk of sewer flooding by replacing, relining and renewing any problem sewers, surveying the sewer network and continuing the work to clear blockages and keep sewers flowing freely.