HUNDREDS of wet wipes and sanitary towels which are being flushed down toilets threaten to create a 'fatberg' which could block sewers in Burnham-on-Sea, a campaign group has warned.

Images released by Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset show piles of old wet wipes and rags which are regularly collected from waste water from Burnham and Highbridge.

The community campaign group, which is currently working on a number of projects in the two towns, said it is becoming increasingly worried that Burnham's sewers could become blocked unless action is taken.

Chloé Walker-Panse from Litter Free Coasts and Sea, said: "Fatbergs form when fats mix in with solid items such as wet wipes in the sewer system- as a result of fats being poured down the drains and objects being flushed down the toilet.

"They congeal together and form a hard mass and as time goes on, get bigger and bigger.

"Eventually, they become so large that they block sewers completely, causing raw sewage to overflow the system and spill out onto our streets and potentially into the river and sea, negatively impacting on bathing water quality.

"Sidmouth has many similarities with Burnham, in that it is a small seaside town with shops and cafes, relying heavily on tourism.

"A fatberg at Sidmouth was found under the esplanade, just metres from the sea. This could easily be the esplanade at Burnham…let’s not feed a Somerset fatberg."

Chloé said residents need to do their bit to crackdown on the problem and be mindful of what they flush down the toilet and pour down the drain.

Litter Free Coasts and Sea says solid fats, plate scraping and food waste should be put in your food waste bin once cool and all liquid cooking oils can be recycled at any recycling site.

And tampons, wet wipes, sanitary pads, cigarettes and cotton buds should be put in the bin and not flushed down the toilet.

Burnham MP James Heappey said praised Litter Free Coasts and Sea for their work to crackdown on the problem but said 'there is still a great deal left to do.'

He said: "Wessex Water, Natural England and the Environment Agency have all got important roles to play, but it is essential that those of us who live near the coast understand that we must change our ways too.

"Wet wipes, sanitary products, condoms and nappies cannot be flushed down the loo, nor should fats and oils be poured down the kitchen sink as they cause blockages in the sewers and lead to storm overflows, discharging sewage directly into the sea.

“I’ll continue to attend the Bathing Water Steering Group and work with local stakeholders to make sure that Burnham’s water quality gets back to where it should be.”

For more information about fatberg's visit