Yorkshire Water has revealed its ‘sewer crusaders’ have had to unblock clogged up sewers 1,925 times in Halifax so far this year.
As a result, the firm is urging customers to flush only ‘the 3Ps’ - poo, pee and paper - down their toilets.
Nearly a third of the massive amount of sewer blockages were caused by wet wipes being flushed down the toilet, which according to Yorkshire Water, are increasingly being used as a luxury toilet roll.
The task of keeping the town’s sewers flowing is with the firm’s team of sewer technicians, dubbed ‘sewer crusaders’.
They use high pressure water spray jets to break up blockages and so reduce the risk of sewage backing up into people’s homes.
James Harrison, Technical Manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “In Halifax, we’re noticing a significant increase in the amount of sewer blockages related to wet wipes in particular.
“We understand information from manufacturers can be quite confusing as some products say flush able on the packaging; however, we would urge people to flush only ‘the 3Ps’ - poo, pee, and paper - down the toilet and to put anything else in the bin to try and prevent sewers from becoming blocked.”
The width of sewers in the town range from just 15cm to several metres and narrow ones are most prone to blockages, according to the firm.
In the worst case scenario blockages can cause raw sewage waste to back up into people’s homes and cause messy interior flooding.
Across the region as a whole, there have been a staggering 50,888 blockages so far this year throughout the huge 52,500 kilometre sewer network.
Yorkshire Water’s ‘Stop it, don’t block it’ campaign aims to highlight the significant amount of blockages it has to fix and to make customers aware of what items shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet.
Every weekend, in every town and city, several tonnes of wipes and are pulled out of sewage plants. Random items such as false teeth, a space hopper and even gold jewellery have been found in the past to the surprise
of Yorkshire Water staff.
Over the next five years, the company will be investing £252 million to improve the quality of the region’s sewer network.