Flushed wipes cause drain blockage in Tamworth

October 26, 2020

A recent news report of a blocked drain in Tamworth highlights the dangers of flushing solid objects down the drain which aren’t meant to be flushed away.

Jenny Raithby, from Dosthill, saw her Welford Road garden overflow twice, first on July 4th and again on 8th September.

She said: “The smell was horrendous. I had to shut all the windows and was spraying air fresheners like mad!”.

The first thing which highlighted a potential problem to her was a vile stench but when she checked the normal drains to see if they appeared blocked, they were all fine. However, she had a manhole in the garden so decided to lift the lid. As soon as she did raw sewage came out, overflowing the whole area towards the back of the house.

She said: “The contents were disgusting, everything you could ever imagine being flushed down a toilet and straight away I could see wipes floating in the mess”.

She first contacted a drainage company, who cleared the mess and confirmed the wipes had caused the leakage. They also notified her that as it was part of a shared drainage system then responsibility for the blockages lay with Severn Trent, which is who Jenny rang six weeks later when the stench returned.

A spokesman for Severn Trent Water, said: We understand events like this are deeply distressing for our customers. That’s why we sent our engineers out as quickly as we could, to investigate the problem and remove any blockages we found. We’re pleased to say it’s all clear now and everything is working as it should be.”

They added: “Blockages like this can be easily prevented if people simply bin their wipes and sanitary products, instead of flushing them down the loo. The same advice applies to fats, oils and greases. We’d like to remind everyone to bin these too, rather than pouring them down the sink, so that we can keep the network running clear.”

It is believed the wipes were flushed down the toilet as they had been used instead of toilet paper due to shortages earlier in the year from people stockpiling due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the last few weeks, many water board companies have released statements advising the public not to flush down the toilet anything other than toilet paper and human waste. You can also find out what the common causes of blocked drains here. Also if you have an outside blocked drain then one of the first things that you need to do is establish whether this part of the drainage system is your responsibility or the responsibility of the water company. You can read more on this in our blog post on unblocking a drain blocked by leaves or mud.

Argo Drains is an emergency drain unblocking and repair company based in Lichfield. We have many years’ experience of clearing blocked drains for customers and businesses throughout Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall and the West Midlands. If you have an emergency drainage issue then speak to our team on 0121 663 6683.