‘Bin it, do not block it’

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A woman whose garden has been turned into an open sewer has called for Thames Water to issue a stark warning about flushing wet wipes down the toilet.

Ruth Steel, 74, has suffered flooding and nasty odours outside her Cemetery Hill home in Hemel Hempstead since before Christmas, and because the problem is thought to originate in neighbours’ houses, little can be done to alleviate her problem.

Miss Steel said: “I just want my house back to normal. I am frightened for myself and my health. It is unhygienic.”

Thames Water spokesman Craig Rance said: “Our engineers have attended several times in the last few months to clear blockages of wet wipes from the sewer.

“Wipes – many of which are wrongly labelled as ‘flushable’ – should never be put down drains because they block our sewers, which is exactly what has happened here. We advise people to bin it, not block it.”