AS SUPERMARKETS ration toilet paper amid reports of panic buying, Severn Trent is urging customers to avoid flushing alternatives.
The company says some people may use wet wipes or kitchen rolls, and these cannot be flushed as they cause a blockage.
Spokesman Grant Mitchell said: “We understand that this is a worrying time and we want to reassure our customers that we’re working hard to keep our essential service running as usual.
“During the first national lockdown we noticed a lot of blockages caused by substitute items, and while we understand that the fear of flushing the wrong thing down the toilet is likely to be quite low on everyone’s list of priorities at the moment, we’re keen to avoid any unpleasant issues for you or your neighbours.
Sewer blockages across West Midlands are around 40,000 per year – with three quarters caused by people putting the wrong things down their toilets and sinks.
Grant added: “Sewers are only designed to cope with toilet paper and human waste. Other things like wet wipes and kitchen roll do not break down in pipes and can easily cause a blockage. When a sewer is blocked the waste must go somewhere and that is usually back out of the drain and into the roads or even your home, which is the last thing that anyone wants.
“The good news is that this can be easily avoided by disposing of any substitute items in the bin, instead of the toilet.”
Visit stwater.co.uk or call 0800 783 4444 to report any problems.