North East Wales

St Asaph revealed as Wales' sewage blockage capital

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water blockbusters Image copyright Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
Image caption Dental floss, cotton buds and chewing gum are among the causes of blockages

A small city more famous for its cathedral and musical festival has been revealed as Wales' sewer blockage hotspot.

Welsh Water has been called to deal with 134 blockages in the past two years in St Asaph, Denbighshire.

The company spends £7m a year clearing 2,000 blockages across Wales.

Head of wastewater networks Andrew Harris said most blockages are caused by items such as wet wipes and cotton buds being flushed down the toilet.

There were 71 blockages reported in St Asaph in 2013-2014, up from 63 in 2012-2013; seven of these resulted in flooding near homes or businesses.

Welsh Water looks after 20,000 miles of sewers and deals with 2,000 blockages a month.

Its staff spend 28,000 hours, or just over three years, clearing them every year.

Top 10 causes of blockages in Wales' sewers

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Cotton wool buds are among the scourges of the sewer
  • Make-up wipes and nappy wipes
  • Fat, oil and grease from cooking
  • Nappies and pads
  • Food waste and peelings
  • Chewing gum
  • Dental floss
  • Cotton buds
  • Plasters
  • Drain rods
  • Building debris

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