Eco Tip – The three Ps

THAMES WATER has been running some amusing TV adverts with a serious message in recent months. Every day they deal with around 200 sewer blockages, many of them the consequence of people using their toilets and sinks for waste disposal. The biggest offenders are wipes, condoms, sanitary products, cotton wool, and dental floss. They ask us to remember the 3Ps rule when it comes to what’s flushable ‘Pee, Poo, Paper. Nothing else’.

They suggest trying alternatives for wet wipes and sanitary products, as there are plenty on the market now. One common myth is that the ‘flushable’ products marketed by many companies are safe to put in the loo. But these wipes contain plastic, so they won’t break down the same way as toilet paper does. Although they’ll disappear when you flush, they won’t completely leave your drains. So pop them in the bin to be safe. The only wipes you can flush safely are ones with the ‘Fine to Flush’ mark, as they’ve been designed to break down in the drain.

Thames Water also provide advice on kitchen waste, asking us to ensure it is scraped into the bin. If it’s more of a ‘liquid’ food like gravy, use kitchen roll or newspaper to soak it up, then put it in the food waste bin. Cooking fat and oils will eventually turn solid and build up in your pipes. Instead of pouring them down the sink, collect them in a container like a jam jar or yoghurt pot. Leave them to cool, and once they’ve set, scoop them out and pop them in the food waste bin.

60% of sewer flooding in homes is caused by blockages. Thames Water say, “Our ongoing mission is to raise awareness of this issue to help you prevent blockages and sewer flooding at home.”

For information on the ‘Fine to Flush’ mark, see

To watch the advert on YouTube (and sing along as well!) see