Yorkshire Water’s eight-foot tall Wipesaur will be visiting Junction 32 this weekend to encourage people in Wakefield to bin items that are often incorrectly flushed down the toilet or rinsed down the sink.

By Leanne ClarkeWednesday, 9th March 2022, 11:27 amUpdated Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 11:28 am

The event, this Saturday, March 12, from 10am-6pm, aims to encourage people not to flush wet wipes, sanitary products, nappies, cotton buds or dental floss down the toilet or rinse waste food, fats, oils and greases down the drain.

Wet wipes are the most common cause of sewer blockages in Yorkshire, with 44% of the 26,790 blockages removed from Yorkshire Water’s pipes in the region in 2021 attributed to wet wipes.

8ft Wipesaur visiting Junction 32 with 'bin it, don't block it' message from Yorkshire Water

Wakefield is a particular hotspot for blockages and the event will be urging people to ‘bin it, don’t block it’ when it comes to unflushables.

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The event comes after Yorkshire Water backed a ban on plastic in wet wipes and single-use sanitary items. The utility also called on the Government to introduce mandatory ‘do not flush’ labelling and to increase the responsibility on manufacturers to educate consumers on correct disposal and cover the cost of incorrect disposal into the sewer network.

Mark Hammond, head of customer field services at Yorkshire Water, said: “Events like this are vital in helping to change customer behaviour and encourage people to think carefully about what they pour down the sink or flush down the toilet.

“Items such as wet wipes and sanitary products contain plastic and do not breakdown within the sewer. When combined with food waste and cooking fats these can quickly form a blockage, preventing the sewer from flowing as it should.

"These blockages can lead to people being unable to use their toilets, sewage escaping into properties and gardens or polluting local watercourses.

“Many people simply flush and forget but we know from our experience removing blockages every day that unflushables can cause significant issues for our customers and the local environment.

"We would urge everyone in Wakefield to bin wet wipes, sanitary products and cooking fats, to reduce the likelihood of being impacted by blockages in the future.”