SEWERS in Gloucestershire are being blocked up at a severely increased rate according to one the country’s leading water utilities companies.

The number of times the county’s sewage system has blocked has increased by a fifth between November 2013 and March 2014.

It is being blamed on people flushing things down their sinks and toilets that are not supposed to be.

Homeowners are responsible for the waste pipe running away from their house up until it either crosses the property boundary or joins with another waste pipe or sewer.

Severn Trent Water’s waste water manager, Julie Robinson, said sewers were only designed to cope with toilet paper and human waste.

“So some of the things people throw down the toilet, like sanitary products or nappies, can easily snag on the inside of a pipe and block it,” she said.

“And, because some of the sewer pipes are only a few inches wide, any fats or oils you throw down your sink can build up on the inside of it, clogging it up – even if you rinse it off with boiling water.”

It has meant that an increasing number of people are having the unfortunate suprise of sewage returning to them through their drains and toilets.

Furing wet weather this is even more liely to happen.

Ms Robinson added: “As well as being extremely unpleasant for our customers, it also ends up costing money to unblock, which is money we can’t reinvest elsewhere.

“But all this can easily be avoided, by people disposing of items in the bin, and not the toilet or sink.”

Items being listed as not suitable for flushing include sanitary products, incontinence pads, tissues, kitchen roll and baby wipes.

Severn Trent customers can order a fat trap online at to help keep fat, oil and grease out of their drains and sewers.

If you have a slow drain or blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility, you can report it to or by calling 0800 783 4444.

Severn Trent Water delivers almost two billion litres of water every day through 46,000km of pipes nationally, with a further 91,000km of sewer pipes taking waste water away to more than 1,000 sewage treatment works.