'Keep wipes out of pipes', says water firm

This Is Wiltshire: Diane Addison,of  Thames Water's commercial team, which set up the deal with Freshu Ltd, in one of the toilets at the company’s HQ, which is the first place in the UK to have wall-mounted Freshu dispensers fitted Diane Addison,of Thames Water's commercial team, which set up the deal with Freshu Ltd, in one of the toilets at the company’s HQ, which is the first place in the UK to have wall-mounted Freshu dispensers fitted

WET wipes are proving a pain in the backside for water firm engineers, as their increasing popularity is causing blockages of the town’s sewer pipes.

Market data shows the wet wipe market is growing at more than 15 per cent a year – and it’s causing a problem for Thames Water.

Now the company is calling on people to stop flushing them down the toilet.

The wipes do not break down like toilet paper does and they block sewers, adding to the £12m Thames Water spends annually on clearing 80,000 blockages on its 108,000km network across London and the Thames Valley.

In Swindon, a blockage on October 21 in Euclid Street was caused by a build up of fat, while on August 30, a blockage in The Moorings, Kingshill, was caused by a build-up of rags and wet wipes.

Thames Water has teamed up with the entrepreneur behind Freshu, a new anti-bacterial foaming gel which can be used with loo roll without the sewer-blocking consequences.

Nick Sumption, the head of affinity partnerships at Thames Water, said: “We never expected to be discussing this but we have to adapt to the changes in our customers’ behaviour, and research indicates that using wet wipes is a growing phenomenon.

“The problem with wet wipes is they do not break down like loo roll does, and they can cause blockages in our sewers, which can in some cases lead to sewage backing up into people’s homes..

“Freshu is used on normal toilet paper, so it won’t block pipes. Keep the wipes out of the pipes.”

The firm is also warning about food fat, which slips down sinks when warm but sets into hard “fatbergs” when it cools in the sewers.

Wet wipes then stick to the congealed fat, causing more serious blockages.

Freshu is the brainchild of former Oxford University student Dr Daniel Darg, who, in 2009, came up with the idea to moisten loo roll without it disintegrating as an alternative to wet wipes.

His mentor, volunteer chaplain Dr Kenneth Barnes, liked the idea and Freshu Ltd was born.

Dr Barnes, now managing director of Freshu Ltd, said: “We are pleased to join Thames Water in the on-going battle against sewer abuse.

“If used at all pre-moistened wipes should be binned, not flushed, as per Thames Water’s ‘Bin it – don’t block it’ motto. “However, with a bottle of Freshu on hand, why would you need to?

“A squirt of Freshu gives toilet roll all the cleansing firepower of a wipe, but with none of the sewer-blocking risk.”

The water firm is keener than ever for customers not to abuse sewers, having acquired 60 per cent more sewers on October 1 last year following a law change that transferred ownership of privately-owned sections of sewers to the water companies.

Freshu foam can be ordered from the Thames Water website at www.thameswater.co.uk.

Comments (15)

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12:24pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Worked Hard says...

Must be awful that people are making you work for a living..... no one else in the world's working life is made harder by the actions of other people is it?? I guess the 3 blokes standing around watching the one working may have to actually do some work now..... or will you get an extra watcher??? get a grip
Must be awful that people are making you work for a living..... no one else in the world's working life is made harder by the actions of other people is it?? I guess the 3 blokes standing around watching the one working may have to actually do some work now..... or will you get an extra watcher??? get a grip Worked Hard
  • Score: 0

1:39pm Sat 27 Oct 12

twasadawf says...

Worked Hard wrote:
Must be awful that people are making you work for a living..... no one else in the world's working life is made harder by the actions of other people is it?? I guess the 3 blokes standing around watching the one working may have to actually do some work now..... or will you get an extra watcher??? get a grip
Guess your drain's have not been blocked by some numbty who has put fat/wet wipes down the drains and backed up to your abode, guess anyone can get the drain rod's out and get down the manhole
[quote][p][bold]Worked Hard[/bold] wrote: Must be awful that people are making you work for a living..... no one else in the world's working life is made harder by the actions of other people is it?? I guess the 3 blokes standing around watching the one working may have to actually do some work now..... or will you get an extra watcher??? get a grip[/p][/quote]Guess your drain's have not been blocked by some numbty who has put fat/wet wipes down the drains and backed up to your abode, guess anyone can get the drain rod's out and get down the manhole twasadawf
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Worked Hard says...

twasadawf wrote:
Worked Hard wrote:
Must be awful that people are making you work for a living..... no one else in the world's working life is made harder by the actions of other people is it?? I guess the 3 blokes standing around watching the one working may have to actually do some work now..... or will you get an extra watcher??? get a grip
Guess your drain's have not been blocked by some numbty who has put fat/wet wipes down the drains and backed up to your abode, guess anyone can get the drain rod's out and get down the manhole
not as yet.... and I'd just pay someone ( those job it is) to come and sort it..... much in the same way that If im ill I go and see a doctor
[quote][p][bold]twasadawf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Worked Hard[/bold] wrote: Must be awful that people are making you work for a living..... no one else in the world's working life is made harder by the actions of other people is it?? I guess the 3 blokes standing around watching the one working may have to actually do some work now..... or will you get an extra watcher??? get a grip[/p][/quote]Guess your drain's have not been blocked by some numbty who has put fat/wet wipes down the drains and backed up to your abode, guess anyone can get the drain rod's out and get down the manhole[/p][/quote]not as yet.... and I'd just pay someone ( those job it is) to come and sort it..... much in the same way that If im ill I go and see a doctor Worked Hard
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Sat 27 Oct 12

female resident says...

Your doctor is paid for with our taxes. The sewer clearance is paid for in our water bills. By keeping healthy and keeping our sewers clear we could all save some money!
Your doctor is paid for with our taxes. The sewer clearance is paid for in our water bills. By keeping healthy and keeping our sewers clear we could all save some money! female resident
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Davey Gravey says...

Worked Hard wrote:
twasadawf wrote:
Worked Hard wrote:
Must be awful that people are making you work for a living..... no one else in the world's working life is made harder by the actions of other people is it?? I guess the 3 blokes standing around watching the one working may have to actually do some work now..... or will you get an extra watcher??? get a grip
Guess your drain's have not been blocked by some numbty who has put fat/wet wipes down the drains and backed up to your abode, guess anyone can get the drain rod's out and get down the manhole
not as yet.... and I'd just pay someone ( those job it is) to come and sort it..... much in the same way that If im ill I go and see a doctor
We can only hope it happens to you. Then you will have something to moan about as you paddle in human waste. Calling someone out after the event won't clean all the **** up
[quote][p][bold]Worked Hard[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]twasadawf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Worked Hard[/bold] wrote: Must be awful that people are making you work for a living..... no one else in the world's working life is made harder by the actions of other people is it?? I guess the 3 blokes standing around watching the one working may have to actually do some work now..... or will you get an extra watcher??? get a grip[/p][/quote]Guess your drain's have not been blocked by some numbty who has put fat/wet wipes down the drains and backed up to your abode, guess anyone can get the drain rod's out and get down the manhole[/p][/quote]not as yet.... and I'd just pay someone ( those job it is) to come and sort it..... much in the same way that If im ill I go and see a doctor[/p][/quote]We can only hope it happens to you. Then you will have something to moan about as you paddle in human waste. Calling someone out after the event won't clean all the **** up Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Worked Hard says...

Yeah, but it'll a great to buy lots of new stuff with the insurance payout..... and have it all sorted whilst staying in a nice hotel :O)
Yeah, but it'll a great to buy lots of new stuff with the insurance payout..... and have it all sorted whilst staying in a nice hotel :O) Worked Hard
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Worked Hard says...

female resident wrote:
Your doctor is paid for with our taxes. The sewer clearance is paid for in our water bills. By keeping healthy and keeping our sewers clear we could all save some money!
This is the thing.... we've already paid up front and through the nose for these people to be on standby to sort these problems and now they start bleating on about having too. @ Davey, I hope you have stopped using your car as global warming is killing the planet. Think of the next few generations...
[quote][p][bold]female resident[/bold] wrote: Your doctor is paid for with our taxes. The sewer clearance is paid for in our water bills. By keeping healthy and keeping our sewers clear we could all save some money![/p][/quote]This is the thing.... we've already paid up front and through the nose for these people to be on standby to sort these problems and now they start bleating on about having too. @ Davey, I hope you have stopped using your car as global warming is killing the planet. Think of the next few generations... Worked Hard
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Sat 27 Oct 12

itsamess3 says...

Seems like a big adverting article to promote a product Thames Water sells.
Using that product would increase profits and less blockages--no suggesting they would reduce our water bills though?
Perhaps the makers of Wetwipes will fend off their losses by making the wipes more sewer friendly.
Seems like a big adverting article to promote a product Thames Water sells. Using that product would increase profits and less blockages--no suggesting they would reduce our water bills though? Perhaps the makers of Wetwipes will fend off their losses by making the wipes more sewer friendly. itsamess3
  • Score: 0

6:33am Sun 28 Oct 12

semitonic says...

Does this mean that more people are wiping their аrsеѕ with wet wipes?

What's wrong with newspaper?

I'll bet it's the same people who think they need BMW X5 just to go to Sainsburys.
Does this mean that more people are wiping their аrsеѕ with wet wipes? What's wrong with newspaper? I'll bet it's the same people who think they need BMW X5 just to go to Sainsburys. semitonic
  • Score: 0

9:38am Sun 28 Oct 12

indigo60 says...

"Seems like a big advertising article to promote a product Thames Water sells."
itsamess has hit the nail on the head there, that is exactly what I thought when I read this article! You have to give them 10/10 for cheek!!
I guess we should be grateful that we don't have the same or similar systems as Cyprus, they cannot even put toilet paper in the toilet.
"Seems like a big advertising article to promote a product Thames Water sells." itsamess has hit the nail on the head there, that is exactly what I thought when I read this article! You have to give them 10/10 for cheek!! I guess we should be grateful that we don't have the same or similar systems as Cyprus, they cannot even put toilet paper in the toilet. indigo60
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Sun 28 Oct 12

itsamess3 says...

Keep it clean boys and girls.
Keep it clean boys and girls. itsamess3
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Mon 29 Oct 12

Alan B'stard says...

"rags"

That's ladies' things.
"rags" That's ladies' things. Alan B'stard
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Mon 29 Oct 12

house on the hill says...

""Worked Hard says...
3:12pm Sat 27 Oct 12

female resident wrote:
Your doctor is paid for with our taxes. The sewer clearance is paid for in our water bills. By keeping healthy and keeping our sewers clear we could all save some money!""

"This is the thing.... we've already paid up front and through the nose for these people to be on standby to sort these problems and now they start bleating on about having too. @ Davey, I hope you have stopped using your car as global warming is killing the planet. Think of the next few generations...""

Female resident, couldnt agree more. Worked hard, heres the thing, you dont "pay up front" for problems to be solved, they have to pride people to do it because irresponsible numpties dont give a **** or a second thought to what they are doing. As with pretty much everything these days, the repsonsible have to clean up after the irresponsible. It is usually the same people who drop litter and flick their "fag ends" out of their car windows who complain at council tax being high. Its because they have to employ people to pick up after their selfishness.

the real problem is how many people live their lives under double standards, I am sure if someone came and dumped a load of wet wipes in your garden you would be the first to jump up and down, but its ok to flush away even though common sense tells you it may well block the drains because its someone elses problem? The same reason it takes about 3 weeks to get a doctors appointment is partly because the waiting rooms are full of people with self inflicted illnesses and injuries. And we wonder why the country is struggling to get out of recession with atitudes like that!
""Worked Hard says... 3:12pm Sat 27 Oct 12 female resident wrote: Your doctor is paid for with our taxes. The sewer clearance is paid for in our water bills. By keeping healthy and keeping our sewers clear we could all save some money!"" "This is the thing.... we've already paid up front and through the nose for these people to be on standby to sort these problems and now they start bleating on about having too. @ Davey, I hope you have stopped using your car as global warming is killing the planet. Think of the next few generations..."" Female resident, couldnt agree more. Worked hard, heres the thing, you dont "pay up front" for problems to be solved, they have to pride people to do it because irresponsible numpties dont give a **** or a second thought to what they are doing. As with pretty much everything these days, the repsonsible have to clean up after the irresponsible. It is usually the same people who drop litter and flick their "fag ends" out of their car windows who complain at council tax being high. Its because they have to employ people to pick up after their selfishness. the real problem is how many people live their lives under double standards, I am sure if someone came and dumped a load of wet wipes in your garden you would be the first to jump up and down, but its ok to flush away even though common sense tells you it may well block the drains because its someone elses problem? The same reason it takes about 3 weeks to get a doctors appointment is partly because the waiting rooms are full of people with self inflicted illnesses and injuries. And we wonder why the country is struggling to get out of recession with atitudes like that! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Mon 29 Oct 12

Empty Car Park says...

Good headline though
"Keep Wipes From The Pipes"

Another good one might be
"Keep The Clog From The Bog"

Just an idea :-)
Good headline though "Keep Wipes From The Pipes" Another good one might be "Keep The Clog From The Bog" Just an idea :-) Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Thu 8 Nov 12

louisa74 says...

well i thought they were ok because on the packet it say,s flushable wipe,s or are they talking about baby wipes that you wipe a baby,s bum with which are defo not allowed the toilet.
well i thought they were ok because on the packet it say,s flushable wipe,s or are they talking about baby wipes that you wipe a baby,s bum with which are defo not allowed the toilet. louisa74
  • Score: 0

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