Sewer Blockages


Preventing sewer blockages

We all have a role to play in preventing the district's sewers from becoming blocked. Knowing what not to flush in your home is the first step in stopping sewage overflowing into the environment.

If we are careful about what is flushed away, we can help prevent sewage overflows and reduce the sewer maintenance costs.

How to reduce the risk of blockage?

Most sewer pipe blockages are caused by inappropriate material entering the sewer system – it could be anything from fabric rags, paper towels or plastic bags to toys, tools, rubble, dirt or rope.

Pipes become blocked due to the build up of fat and grease, disposed of in the sink which solidifies, and builds up on the side of the sewers.

We should only ever flush down a toilet, human waste (urine and faeces) and toilet paper. A useful guide would be that if it doesn't turn to mush when it's wet, don't flush it down the toilet.

Never flush:

  • Disposable nappies.
  • Tampons and mini or maxi pads.
  • Cotton balls and swabs.
  • Unused medications.
  • Condoms.
  • Cleaning wipes.
  • Facial tissues.
  • Bandages and bandage wrappings.
  • Grease.

While these may go out of sight, they can build up in the pipes and cause a blockage.

What you can do

  • Scrape food scraps into your green compost bin or throw it into your compost heap and cover.
  • Pour cooking oil or fats from cooking into newspaper or soak up with kitchen towels and put in the green bin.
  • Don't flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper.
  • Return unused medications to your local pharmacy.
  • Please view the Recycling and Disposal page for options.

Last updated: 10 Mar 2022