HEREFORD is one of the worst areas where people abuse the sewers and block pipes, Welsh Water has said.

Welsh Water, the only not-for-profit utility company in England and Wales, said that repeat blockages in the area are said to be caused by “unflushable” items such as wet wipes and sanitary products being flushed down the loo as well as fats and oils from cooking being poured down the kitchen sink.

The company, which covers most of Herefordshire, will be working with customers in the area over the next few months to understand how their actions can have a significant impact on not only their own environments around them but also those of their neighbours.


Since April 2021, Welsh Water has attended 307 incidents of blockages in Hereford that could have otherwise been avoided.

The company estimates it tackles around 20,000 blockages a year, at around £7 million cost every year to the company – money which the firm said could otherwise be spent on improving its services and resolving customers issues.

Once flushed, these unflushable items combine to create fatbergs: huge, solid masses which are difficult to clear and can cause raw sewage to back up and flood homes, businesses, and the local environment.

The company has called on all customers to avoid flushing these items down the toilet – warning that flushing just one wipe can result in sewers becoming blocked and flooding homes and businesses.


Recent research from polling company YouGov found that almost 10 per cent of Welsh adults thought that the correct way to dispose of fat, oil and grease, (FOG) is down the sink, while one in five (20 per cent) of people didn’t think it should be disposed of in the sink, toilet, or bin.

The YouGov research also revealed that three per cent of people surveyed continue to flush wet wipes down the toilet, with 10 per cent also flushing tampons or sanitary products.

Welsh Water has released the full list of areas that are the worst offenders for repeat sewer abuse.

  • Hereford
  • Wrexham
  • Mold
  • Bridgend
  • Newport
  • Cwmbran
  • Pontypool
  • Milford Haven
  • Haverfordwest
  • Swansea
  • Caerphilly
  • Ely

Welsh Water’s head of wastewater networks Paul Kingdon said: “Flushing the wrong things down the toilet can cause huge problems inside people's homes, but people must remember, blockages don't just cause a problem for you. They can cause issues for your neighbours too.

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

“Over the next few months, we’re going to be out in the community working closely with customers in these priority areas to ensure they understand the impacts of their actions and will be monitoring improvements. By doing what’s right, together we can help stop the block.”