HOMES have been destroyed and blockages the size of cars have been found in Cumbria's sewers.

The shocking details have been revealed as part of a campaign to stop people flushing items down the toilet that should go in the bin, including wet wipes, sanitary products and nappies.

United Utilities has also revealed how pouring fat down the drains is putting huge pressure on the sewerage system.

In the worst cases, blocked drains has caused flooding that has destroyed homes as raw sewage seeps into the property.

The Stop the Block campaign aims to educate people about what can and can’t go into the drainage system.

Ben Newton, network engineer for United Utilities said: “We have teams dealing with blockages constantly, homes are being written off because of blocked drains.

“I have been to one family who was forced to moved because their home was almost knee-deep with sewage.”

He explained how some people thought they were doing the right thing by buying ‘flushable’ products. But they do not all degrade and when they come into contact with the fat that floats on the top of the water, they become trapped and start to create the blockages.

In time, the diameter of the pipes becomes smaller and waste is not able to pass through.

Mr Newton said: “It’s really sad when people start to lose their home as a result of things like this as it can be prevented.

“We are lucky in Cumbria we do have good sewerage, but that doesn’t stop us getting fatbergs like what has been seen in places like London and Manchester.

“The worst I have been to was just last year. It was in Penrith and we had to get flatbed trucks in to take it away — it was the size of a car.

“The problem is almost every other job is a waste problem and when you get to the likes of Penrith, the field was flooded and sanitary products and faeces were floating in the field.

“This is what makes it hard when you go to a home that has been flooded this way.”

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 items.