Flushed without success

UKDN Waterflow, a drain and sewage repairs company, have conducted a national survey and found that people are flushing all sorts down the pan.

This blog is written by Jennifer Connelly from Fusion Unlimited

There is already an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic circulating our oceans, with approximately 8 million metric tons added each year. Surprisingly, a huge 10.5 million metric tons of it comes straight from items flushed down the toilet - therefore it is more important than ever to ensure we think before we flush!


Incredibly, a recent survey by UKDN Waterflow, revealed 94% of the UK public think they know what they should and shouldn’t pour down the drain or flush down the toilet.


However, the survey results themselves show that this really isn’t the case. Let’s have a look at what the UKDN research unveiled about the UK’s daily habits:

UKDN Infographic

Not only do these items (apart from the hamster) release harmful chemicals and pollute our oceans - they also contribute to the increasing fatbergs that are emerging across the UK.


Fatbergs are formed by fat, oil and greases (also known as FOGs) which solidify as the temperature in the sewers and pipes lowers. The fatberg then increases in size, as non-flushable items continue to be flushed. Water and human waste is then unable to pass the fatberg, risking the chance of overflowing sewage.

These fatbergs cost councils and residents millions to clear each year. The famous 130 tonne Whitechapel fatberg cost approximately £9m and nine weeks to clear up. So, with all this information in mind, what can we do to cut down our contribution to drainage pollution?


The simple way to reduce the risk of fatbergs and increased litter in our oceans - is to stop disposing of items that shouldn’t be flushed down the loo. The only things that we should be flushing down the toilet are the three Ps – pee, poo and paper. Everything else should be disposed of safely in the bin.

In the kitchen, anything on plates or in pots and pans should be cleared into the bin before going in the sink or dishwasher. Having a plug strainer in your kitchen sink and shower can also stop any food or hair escaping into your pipes.

These tiny lifestyle changes make a huge difference to our environment. Adopt these good habits and you’ll be doing the oceans will thank you (although the fatbergs might not!).