UNITED Utilities are warning residents in the town about 'flushable' products in a bid to banish blockages causing chaos in sewers and homes.

One of the biggest problems lies with baby care items such as wipes, cotton wool and cotton buds, with 84% of people in the town believing it is safe to dispose of 'flushable' items in the toilet.

Pipe blockages cost the company £20 million a year and wastewater network manager Tony Griffiths has advised people to think before they flush.

"If you’re a busy parent and you see baby/toddler moisturising or toilet wipes described as flushable, there’s no reason you’d question it," he said.

“But the term is misleading as while it means the item will go down the toilet, it does not mean the product will break up properly in water – in fact they can take years to disintegrate."

United Utilities, along with other water companies, is now working with wet wipe manufacturers to agree how labelling on these products can be improved to avoid confusion.

Mr Griffiths added: “Ultimately we want to help people learn how they can keep their drains healthy, because it might not be our sewers that block, it could be theirs.

"And that could mean calling a plumber and a hefty bill.

“The best thing to remember is, whatever the packaging says, there are only three things that can be safely flushed down the loo without danger of blockage – pee, poo and toilet paper.”

For further information visit www.unitedutilities.com/thinkbeforeyouflush.