Six thousand homes in Billingham are to be the focus of a campaign to stop sewer flooding caused by people flushing wipes down the toilet.

Northumbrian Water’s Bin The Wipe campaign aims to help people understand the problems caused by bad flushing habits, and to make a simple change to the way they dispose of wipes.


The campaign’s latest hot spot – an area where high volumes of wipes are found in the sewer – centres on the TS23 3 post code area.


wipes blocked drain


Wipes, unlike toilet roll, do not break down when flushed. Most contain plastic.


They can catch or settle in sewer pipes, starting or contributing to blockages which can cause waste to back up into homes or the environment.


Customers in the area will be receiving letters this week (commencing February 14). These explain why the campaign is in the area and how they can help make a difference.


Simon Cyhanko, Head of Wastewater Networks at Northumbrian Water said: “Wipes block pipes, and that puts homes and the environment at risk of sewer flooding.


“We know that many people within the area don’t flush wipes, and we would like to thank those people for not putting them down the loo. Yet, their homes may still be affected if a blockage causes a sewer to back up.


“Our team will be working hard on – and under – the ground, finding wipes and tracking back to the homes where they were flushed. This creates a great opportunity to talk to people about the problems they are, or could be, causing.


“We want people to understand the issue and make a change, that’s why we are coming to Billingham. If we can make a positive change for our customers in this way, we can avoid having to take further steps. These could include recharging the cost of blockage clearances, or even prosecution.


“So please, help us make a big difference and Bin The Wipe.”