People in four areas of Newcastle are being urged to get involved with a campaign to protect homes and the environment from sewer flooding. 


More than 14,500 households in Kenton, Cowgate, Blakelaw and Newbiggin Hall are included in the next group of “hot spots” for Northumbrian Water’s Bin the Wipe campaign.


Flushed wipes are the leading cause of blockages in sewers, which can cause waste to back up into people’s homes or out into the environment.


After the water company found wipes in 64% of the blockages it cleared from its sewers in 2019, it launched the Bin the Wipe campaign. This has seen reductions of up to 91% in the number of wipes found in the sewers of the areas where it has taken the campaign. In turn blockages have reduced by more than 50%, helping protect homes and the environment.


Bin the Wipe asks people to make one simple change: stop putting wipes down the toilet.


Wipes don’t break down the way toilet paper does. They settle and catch in pipes, starting or contributing to blockages.


The NE3 3 area of Kenton, NE5 3 in Blakelaw and Cowgate, and NE5 4, in Newbiggin Hill, are the latest “hot spots” to become the focus of the campaign, with the team moving into Kenton this month. Planning is underway for activity in Blakelaw, Cowgate and Newbiggin Hill, and customers in those areas will receive letters ahead of the team’s arrival in those areas.


This comes after analysis of blockages has shown them to be areas where high volumes of wipes are flushed.


Simon Cyhanko, Head of Wastewater Networks at Northumbrian Water said: “The results of sewer blockages can be horrendous, with waste being forced back into homes, coming up through shower trays, toilets, plug holes. Bin the Wipe aims to massively reduce the chances of that happening to our customers, and it is so simple to play your part.


“Flushing wipes down the loo – whatever the label says about them being ‘flushable’, no matter if it’s only the ‘one little wipe’ – can lead to blockages that cause such scenes.


“All we ask is for people to stop doing it. Put your wipes in the bin. That’s all there is to it.


“We know there will be many customers in these areas that don’t flush wipes, and we are hugely grateful to them. What we really need is for everyone to take that responsible attitude to flushing wipes, and simply understanding why it’s a problem is often all it takes for people to make that change.


“We’re hoping that the people of Kenton, Cowgate, Blakelaw and Newbiggin Hall join the thousands of people across the North East who have already made a massive difference for their communities by making that change and choosing to Bin the Wipe.”