• MP joins forces with Thames Water to raise awareness of sewer blockage
  • Demonstration proves "flushable" wipes don't degrade in sewers, with only the three Ps flushable: poo, pee and toilet paper
  • 3,452 blockages cleared from Dagenham and Rainham sewers in last three years while 13 properties have been flooded with sewage

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas has teamed up with Thames Water in the company's ongoing battle against fatbergs by calling on residents to ‘Bin it – don't block it'.

Mr Cruddas spent Wednesday morning in the Houses of Parliament with Thames Water staff, including those who have the eye-watering task of unclogging sewers which have been blocked by fat and items such as nappies, wipes and sanitary products. He also saw a demonstration showing how so-called ‘flushable' wipes add to the problem when they don't break down in sewers in the same way toilet paper does.

Thames Water's head of customer field services Jerry White said: "Sewer blockages are a massive problem that can lead to sewage flooding properties, public spaces and the environment, yet in many cases they're totally avoidable.

"It's great to have parliamentary support for our ‘Bin it – don't block it' campaign. We hope with their ongoing help and support we can encourage everyone to do the right thing and dispose of their used fat, wipes, cotton buds and other rubbish in the bin and not down the sink or toilet."

Thames Water clears around 85,000 blockages a year from its sewers in London and the Thames Valley at a cost of around £1m per month. Congealed lumps of fat and wipes weighing as much as double decker buses have been cleared from sewers in some areas, while specially in Dagenham and Rainham the company has tackled more than 3,450 blockages in the last three years and 13 properties have been internally flooded with sewage.

Blockage clearing will often lead to delays for motorists when roads have to be closed and in worst cases work can continue for a number of weeks when whole sections of damaged pipe have to be dug up and replaced.

Jon Cruddas MP commented: "I fully support the ‘bin it – don't block it' campaign being run by Thames Water. Meeting with them and discussing the issue of ‘fatbergs' and other sewer blockages was a real eye opener. In my constituency alone Thames Water has had to clear over 3,000 blockages across a three year period. I'm urging residents to find out more about this campaign and do their best to dispose of waste, including fat and un-flushable material responsibly."

Advice on how to prevent blockages is available at