Standard sewage treatment pumps are not coping from the onslaught of ‘alternative’ products that some people have been forced to use due to the shortage of toilet roll created by panic-buyers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The problems of blockages caused by modern day wet-wipes is already well documented.
A number of the UK water companies have already warned that householders’ use of tissues, kitchen roll and even newspapers will inevitably cause sewers to block. The utilities are having to tackle an increasing number of sewers
clogged up by flushed toilet roll alternatives, and is warning customers of the potential impacts when toilets are used
as a bin.
Simon Cyhanko, Head of Wastewater Networks at Northumbrian Water, said: "Wet wipes and toilet roll alternatives, including kitchen roll and newspapers, are the main causes of blockages in our network.
"We understand some people affected by the limited toilet roll availability may have no choice but to use alternative products, but we really need our customers' help by making one small change - and that's to put wipes and any alternatives in the bin.
Wrongly flushed items, such as wet wipes, are one of the biggest causes of blockages as they usually clog up inside householders' plumbing and sewer pipes.
Speaking for leading pump manufacturer, Landia, Paul Davies said: “Northumbrian Water is correct when they comment on how bad the consequences of blockages can be – especially now at this unprecedented time. With so many people currently not able to be at their usual place of work, having your home then flooded with toilet waste is extremely grim. There are also some very unpleasant effects for the local environment”. He added: “We shouldn’t give up on trying to stop people flushing wet-wipes down their toilets, but the water industry should also invest in very robust long-lasting pumping equipment to combat this".
“As the saying goes, it’s not rocket science. In 2020, our Landia Chopper Pump is in its 70th anniversary year. We invented it back in 1950, so it’s nothing new, but it laughs in the face of wet-wipes and such like.
“I just hope that during this extremely challenging time, the water industry will be able to think carefully about the best equipment for the long term – not the cheapest. Unfortunately, the fight against blocked sewers and wet-wipes is never-ending”.