Think before you flush

It's a shocking number, but did you know that around 1,000 homes and 6,000 gardens are affected by flooding each year? That's just in the North West.

Millions of pounds are spent on cleaning drains and sewers right across the UK because of items that shouldn't be in them. Wet wipes, cotton wool, nappies, cotton buds and dental floss are just some of the culprits.

As much as we live in a 'disposable age', it's vital that you think before you flush.

Things like wipes and nappies don't just disappear down the u-bend and dissolve - they clump together and cause havoc in the sewers. All-too-often the misery caused to people can be seen when blocked sewers have caused their homes and gardens to flood.

On top of that, many of these items end up in our rivers and on our beaches, which has far-reaching impacts on nature and the environment.

It may take a little getting used to, but thinking about what you flush each time will have a great effect! Put a bin in the bathroom so nobody's tempted to flush and bear in mind the three p's rule: pee, poo and (toilet) paper, only.

Check out the United Utilities 'Flush Files' and see what some people have sent down the u-bend.

If you're still unsure about what to flush, click the links below for video guidance from United Utilities:

Let's wipe it out!

You don't want to flush that down your loo

Wipe away blockage misery