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Bin it - Don't block it


Last reviewed: 4.9.2015 - 9.51am


Photo of a sewer blocked by a fatberg


Bin it – don’t block it’ is Thames Water's campaign to end the misery caused by ‘fatbergs’. 

Leftover cooking fat and oil poured down the sink will set hard. This creates stinking, pipe-blocking fatbergs beneath your house or in your street.

Wet wipes are another big no-no because they are made of plastic. They don’t break down like toilet tissue, clinging to fat and clogging up the system. If drains get blocked, what you flush can come back up through your toilet or even your sink.

Thames Water clears around 55,000 blockages from our sewers each year at a cost of £12m and 7,000 customers suffer from sewer flooding in their homes and gardens – a truly miserable experience.

Their message is simple, if it's not water, toilet tissue or poo, please... bin it - don't block it.

Want to know more?

See for yourself what happens when you put the wrong things down the drain, and find out what you can do to help.

Click here to isit Thames Water's Bin it - don't block it website

Fat traps

Any plastic container or jam jar will do the job  – remember to put it in the bin when full.

What Thames Water are doing to help

Thousands of unsuitable products are washed down the drain each year contributing to around 55,000 blockages across our supply area.

This is made worse by confusing and misleading product labelling, which encourages customers to flush unsuitable items, particularly toddler wipes and sanitary items. Although these items disappear when you flush your loo, they can take a number of years to break down. There are currently no restrictions in place to prevent these products being sold as 'flushable'.

The only product to pass water industry 'flushability' tests so far is toilet paper. Manufacturers have their own tests, which are more lenient resulting in a greater number of products being labelled 'flushable'.

To resolve this, the water industry and manufacturers are working together to develop a shared protocol. This project is also hoping to influence product labelling.

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