THERE are some things we’d rather not have to think about. What goes down into the sewers beneath our feet is very definitely one of them.

There comes a time, however, when we have to begin to take collective responsibility.

Today we reveal that York’s sewers have been blocked more than 5,000 times in the past five years alone. And while yes, it is Yorkshire Water’s job to keep them flowing smoothly, we all have to share some of the blame when they do get blocked. Many of the blockages are caused by lazy or ill-informed people simply flushing the wrong things away.

Wet wipes are not designed to be flushed down the loo - and they do not degrade naturally like ordinary toilet paper. They may be very handy for quickly wiping down surfaces. But they are also now one of the key causes of blockages, Yorkshire Water says.

No one is trying to stop you using them. Just make sure you dispose of them properly when you do - in the bin, not down the loo.

Wet wipes are now even more of a problem than the traditional enemy of sewers, the FOGS - fats, oils and greases. These still cause a significant number of blockages, however - so with Christmas and oily turkeys approaching, now is a good time to remind people not to pour the oil down the sink.

Even luxury three- or four-ply toilet paper is a problem. It doesn’t degrade as easily as thinner paper, so can cause blockages. The moral: avoid posh loo paper if you can.

The recent sewer repair in Fishergate reminded us all of how inconvenient - not to mention disgusting - it can be when our sewers break down. A bit more thought by everyone could help ensure that happens less often.