Thames Water chief operating officer Steve Shine said: This year alone we have had to deal with 55,000 blockages in London and the Thames Valley, resulting in flooding to 7,000 homes and gardens.
The majority of blockages are caused by sewer abuse. This is when things like cooking fat, sanitary products and wet wipes are wrongly put down toilets and drains, often causing misery for thousands of people because they block sewers, leading in some cases to waste backing up into peoples homes.
This is disgusting and often aggravated by confusing and misleading product labelling which encourages customers to flush unsuitable items, including toddler wipes and sanitary items.
Our message is simple: Bin it dont block it. In other words, anything other than human waste and toilet paper should not be flushed down the toilet.
Thames Water states that the majority of blockages are caused by cooking fats and oils, which congeal in the sewers forming a thick layer around the pipe.