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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Warning Issued as Blocked Sewer Caused Copmanthorpe Flooding

market drain 101114

3:17pm 19th November 2014

Customers in York are being urged to think carefully about what they're putting down their toilets and sinks after new figures revealed a million pound problem around the Yorkshire region.

Every week, thousands of items like nappies, sanitary products, wet wipes and cotton wool buds have to be removed from waste water entering treatment works across the region.

And Yorkshire Water is joining with Julian Sturdy MP to ask residents to think carefully about what they are putting in the company's system after a blockage found in the sewer in Copmanthorpe was revealed to be the cause of flash flooding in August.

These issues around Yorkshire cost thousands of pounds to deal with but it can also cause a pollution or flooding incident by toilet related litter and sewage finding its way into the region's rivers and watercourses.

And the company is also aiming to raise awareness of the damage caused by fats, oils and greases being poured down the sink - congealing and hardening as they cool down to form fatbergs which create blockages.

Last year, a quarter of flooding incidents reported to Yorkshire Water across Yorkshire were due to unsuitable materials being put down the sewer.

The Bradford-based firm is doing its bit to prevent these types of incidents by investing in unclogging the blockages along its 54,000km sewer network, predominately made up of nappies, wipes and cotton buds gelled together by fats, oils and greases.

George Kotschy, Media Advisor at Yorkshire Water, said: "It is really important that customers understand the impact that disposing of things incorrectly down their toilet and sink can have on their homes.

"It's all too easy to get rid of items such as wipes and sanitary products by putting them down the loo, but we want customers to think before they flush.

"We'd like them to remember that such actions can cause blockages in our sewers which lead to homes - including their own - being flooded with raw sewage. That's a deeply unpleasant situation and one we want no customer to suffer."

Julian Sturdy, the MP for York Outer, has attended a number of public meetings with Yorkshire Water and local residents to discuss the problems of flash flooding.

Speaking about the issue, he said: "It is clear that blocked drains and the resulting surface water can cause a huge amount of damage and to people's homes. I am pleased that Yorkshire Water is investing the necessary resources into fixing the problem and I am happy to support its campaign."

Other problems include concrete or plaster being poured down the drain which sets solid, while bricks, rubble and tarmac are also a problem.

Customers can help by:

  •       Not flushing anything apart from human waste and toilet paper down
  •       the drain
  •       Scraping and wiping plates and pans before washing up
  •       Collecting waste oil and fat in an old drinks container
  •       Having food waste collected for energy to waste.

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