Wessex Water is calling for its customers in Bridgwater to wipe out wipes after attending almost 200 sewer blockages in the area over the last year caused by wet wipes being flushed down the toilet.

Blockages can lead to sewage backing up into homes (including neighbours of those who have flushed wipes), as well as sewer pipes bursting, which can cause pollution to the local environment.

Wet wipes are not designed to break down in sewers in the same way that toilet paper does, so over time they build up and combine with other items that are incorrectly flushed to block sewers, putting entire neighbourhoods at risk.

Sewerage teams at Wessex Water are urging customers in Bridgwater to try swapping single-use wet wipes for reusable alternatives, such as cleaning cloths and sprays instead of cleaning wipes, or washable face pads instead of make-up removal wipes.

George Taylor, director of sewerage at Wessex Water, said: “Wet wipes – even those that are branded ‘flushable’ – are designed to stay intact and are therefore not suitable for the sewerage network, which helps human waste break down before it reaches a treatment site.

“We always tell our customers to only flush the three Ps – paper, poo and pee – to minimise the risk of sewage backing up into their home.

“By ditching wet wipes for reusable items, not only can we protect our homes, but we can reduce how much of a single-use resource we’re using, which further helps the environment.

“However, we understand that some customers, particularly parents with young children, rely a lot on the convenience of wet wipes. If you are going to use them, we would urge you to dispose of them in the bin and not down the toilet.”

Visit wessexwater.co.uk for more advice on preventing sewer blockages.