Stop the Block: United Utilities urges Wirral residents not to flush unflushables

Residents on the Wirral are being urged to work together and think twice about what they put down their pipes and drains to protect their homes, local community and beautiful coastline. 

United Utilities (UU), which looks after the borough’s water and wastewater services, says unflushables such as wet wipes and fats, oils and greases are responsible for clogging up drains and sewers.

This not only leads to flooding in our homes and local communities, but could also result in debris from the sewers finding its way onto beaches. 

In the past year alone, due to people flushing and pouring the wrong things, there have been 68 blockages in Wirral, all of which could have been avoided. Items commonly found in the region’s sewers include children’s toys, cutlery, beer cans, mop heads and clothes. 

In the CH46 postcode area, which covers Leasowe and Moreton, there were 29 reported blockages in the last year and in the CH49 postcode area, which covers Greasby, Landican, Saughall Massie, Upton, and Woodchurch there were 10 reported blockages. Further breakdown of postcodes that cover Birkenhead, Wallasey and the rest of Wirral are not available.

The water firm is urging residents to do their bit to Stop the Block through a campaign called Wirral Working Together which is focusing on the towns of Moreton and Greasby. 

The campaign is reminding residents at these flooding hotspots to put unflushables into the bin and not down the loo, and scrape cooled fats, oils and grease from pots and pans straight into the bin and help spread the message about why it’s so important to Stop the Block. 

Catherine Booth, marketing and campaigns manager at United Utilities, said, “When fats, oils and grease are poured down the sink, they cool and solidify in the sewers together with items such as wet wipes, nappies, and sanitary products. 

“These huge lumps – known as fatbergs – clog up sewer pipes and, during times of very heavy rainfall, they can cause untreated sewage to flood homes, gardens, streets and can even impact our beaches. 

“Our Stop the Block campaign has been launched to raise awareness about how much damage people are unwittingly causing when they dispose of these items in this way.”

As part of the campaign, United Utilities is also encouraging Food Service businesses in the area to sign its ‘fighting the fatberg’ pledge and will be holding competitions for both primary and secondary school children to educate the next generation on this issue. 

For more information about the campaign and to find out what you can and can’t dispose of down your pipes and drains, go to unitedutilities.com/stoptheblock.

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