A campaign to protect homes and the environment from sewer flooding is looking to make better flushing habits a resolution for 2023 in South Tyneside.


Northumbrian Water’s Bin the Wipe initiative is moving into the NE34 9 area, in parts of South Shields and Jarrow.


The area has been selected after analysis showed high levels of sewer blockages caused by flushed wipes.


To help reduce those blockages and the potential they create for sewer flooding, the team is asking people to make one simple change: to not flush wipes down the toilet.


Sewer workers will be monitoring the pipes and using specially-created tools to identify where the wipes are being flushed from.


This can take them directly to the doors of those responsible, allowing them to have face to face conversations, helping people understand why flushing wipes is a problem.


Simon Cyhanko, Head of Wastewater Networks at Northumbrian Water, said: “The response we have had from customers in areas where we have taken Bin the Wipe already has been amazing. In some areas, we have found huge reductions in the number of wipes in the sewer, which can lead to the chances of sewer flooding occurring falling dramatically.


“On our last visit to South Shields, the team worked in the NE34 7 area. When we returned, we had found there were 80% fewer wipes in the sewer. That’s amazing and we really hope that customers in the NE34 9 area will be just as brilliant when it comes to making a really simple change.”


Blockages in sewers stop the waste people flush away from continuing its journey to sewage treatment works. When this happens, it can back up into people’s homes or out into the environment.


Simon added: “We know that not everyone in this area flushes wipes, and we’d like to thank those who don’t for their responsible disposal habits. What we really want is for everyone to make that change. A flushed wipe can cause problems for anyone, whether or not it was them who put it down the loo. So, making this simple change protects your own home, as well as that of neighbours near and far.”