Aberdare grandmother calls for people to stop flushing wet wipes after horror flood in garden

11 April 2024

An Aberdare grandmother has called for people to be responsible and stop flushing wipes, sanitary items and other items that belong in the bin, after her beloved garden was flooded with sewage.

Christine, aged 73, was horrified to discover her garden had been flooded due to a blockage in the sewer system in the area which had been caused by items including wipes and sanitary towels which had been flushed away. This then caused the system to back up, with Christine receiving the brunt of the impact as it caused the manhole cover in her garden to overflow.

Christine said: “I woke up in the morning to the devastation in my garden caused by sewage. I was shocked at how the mess had covered my entire garden.

“I was upset and angry and couldn’t believe how much raw sewage had overflowed on to my property. Amongst the sewage, I also saw wipes and sanitary towels.”

Christine called Welsh Water who sent a team to the property to inspect the manholes and sewers, where they found the cause of the issue was sewer abuse.

After clearing the blockage, they cleaned the main pathways to the house as well as the patio.

It took around a week to restore the garden back to its former glory after contractors removed contaminated gravel and replaced it with new, and a fence that was damaged was cleaned and repainted.

Christine said: “My garden is my pride and joy, and I spend a lot of time gardening and enjoying my space, especially during warmer days.

“When I realised that this flood had been caused by other people flushing things they shouldn’t, I was angry and frustrated – I couldn’t believe they thought this was okay to do.”

Welsh Water’s Stop the Block campaign seeks to educate people in Wales about the issues that flushing the wrong things down the toilet can cause, and to inspire them to properly dispose of products to avoid nasty blockages that are harmful to homes and the environment.

Christine, who fully endorses this campaign, added: “To anyone who is still flushing wipes – stop! Do not flush anything other than the three Ps - pee, poo and (toilet) paper - down the toilet.

“Sanitary pads, wet wipes and nappies should all go in the bin.”

Ed Bennett, Head of Waste Water Networks at Welsh Water, said: “Unfortunately, these types of situations are a daily occurrence for us at Welsh Water. Our colleagues work around the clock removing blockages from our sewer systems that could easily be prevented if customers stop treating their loos as bins.

“Just one wet wipe is enough to cause an unpleasant blockage that can lead to sewage flowing back to your home. It can be very distressing and upsetting and it’s also costly to fix. We’re urging all customers to only flush the three Ps down the toilet – pee, poo, and paper.”

For more information on the Stop the Block campaign, visit here.