Accommodation - University of Leeds

Cleaning & Laundry

Keep the water flowing

To remove a blockage and prevent a flood, 6,000 litres of waste has just been pumped out of the drainage system at just one of our residences...

Did you know that 20% of kitchen sink blockages are caused by fat, oil and grease being washed down plugholes? And 30% of toilet blockages are caused by wipes and other sanitary items being flushed down the toilet?

To help us keep the water flowing, here are some useful hints and tips:

Toilets are only designed to remove human waste and toilet roll. Other items like sanitary products, condoms, cotton buds, hair and toilet cleaning block cages get stuck in the pipes and could result in a flooded bathroom. Wipes of all kinds can block pipes - even if it says 'flushable' on the packet it's still a good idea to put them in the bin. Also make sure you put cotton buds, sanitary products and condoms in bags and into the bin, not down the loo!

In the kitchen, don't wash away leftover fat, oil, greasy sauces or food scraps down the sink. It solidifies in the pipes like a block of lard, creating a blockage that stops waste water draining away so it could come back up through the plug hole…remember to wipe and bin before you rinse. Let leftover fat, oil and grease cool, then pour into a suitable container and put it in the bin. You could also wipe pots and pans out with kitchen roll before washing up. Sink strainers are a great idea for catching stray food scraps too, especially rice (it might go down the plug hole, but once in the pipe it absorbs water, expands and gets stuck!).

For more information, please see the Yorkshire Water website. 

St Mark's Residences kitchen

  1. Who's responsible?
  2. Tips for a dirt-free home
  3. Keep the water flowing
  4. Laundry facilities