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Northumbrian Water's 'fine to flush' fight against fatbergs

Hands up anyone who's flushed a wet wipe down the toilet?

We don't want to worry you, but you've probably - perhaps inadvertently - contributed to the creation of those big, solid lumps of wet wipes, fat, oil and grease known as fatbergs.

Very big, in some cases. There was one in London that was 250 metres long and weighed as much as 19 elephants.

The solution Northumbria Water has come up with is better labeling so we know which wipes we can and can't flush.

Fatberg in Whitechapel, London
Thames Water

If it has a Fine to Flush symbol it will have passed strict tests to check the wipe doesn't contain plastic and will break down in the sewer system.

Apparently even some products currently labeled "flushable" would not pass the tests.

The 210ft fatberg lurking in Sidmouth sewer
Take a look at the 210ft (64m) mass of congealed fat and rubbish - built up when fat and cooking oil is poured down people's sinks - clogging up Sidmouth's sewers.
Fatberg: Inside Sidmouth's sewers
Take a look at the 210ft (64m) mass of congealed fat and rubbish clogging up Sidmouth's sewers.

'Watch what you flush' warning after 'fatberg' blockage

Edward Rowe

BBC Radio Guernsey

Water engineers in Guernsey are warning people to "watch what they flush" after more than a tonne of waste flushed down the toilet caused serious blockages on 15 August.

The "fatberg" was made predominately of wet wipes and caused problems for the island's water system.

The blockage was at a pumping station on the South Side of St Sampsons Harbour and a crane was needed to pull it out.

Operations manager Jon Holt said only the three Ps - "poo pee and paper" - should get flushed down the toilet.

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