The outbreak of coronavirus in the UK has had a huge impact on the country in countless ways. Some of these impacts you probably wouldn’t have been able to predict no matter how hard you tried.
One of the first things a lot of us noticed was the rush to stock up on essentials at the supermarket.
For many people, this included buying large quantities of toilet roll! With the trusty loo roll in short supply in towns and cities throughout the UK, people have started turning to alternatives.
Products such as wet wipes, kitchen roll… and in some cases, even newspaper, are being used and flushed in desperation.
The knock-on effect for the nation’s sewage system has been significant. Throughout the UK, these toilet roll alternatives are entering the drainage network in larger volumes than ever before seen.
The bad news is that the drains and pipes in and around our homes simply aren’t designed to handle this type of waste.
Simon Cyhanko, head of wastewater networks at Northumbria Water, said the impact to homes and the environment could be devastating:
“We understand some people affected by the limited toilet roll availability may have no choice but to use alternative products. Blockages can have devastating consequences, from causing people’s homes to be flooded with toilet waste to the environment being polluted.”
He went on to stress that the risk simply isn’t worth taking, explaining that a home flooded with sewage “isn’t a pleasant experience at any time and especially now, if vulnerable people need to self-isolate because of Covid-19”.
In 2019, Northumbria Water reported that two thirds of the 15,600 blockages they cleared were caused by wet wipes and considering recent events the problem is set to intensify.
Emergency response drain unblocking and clearance is classified as an essential service during the UK coronavirus lock down and as such TWC Drain Care are available to respond to any emergencies, whilst strictly following government guidance and taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers and engineers.