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Trim the fat this Christmas

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18th December 2012

Trim the fat this Christmas

Christmas turkey is a great tradition but once your festive feast is over, make sure that the fat left in the bottom of your baking tray goes in the bin and not down the sink. That’s the message from Severn Trent Water, who will be spending Christmas scraping turkey fat off the wall of sewers.

Blockages in our sewers

Craig Bayliss, who has many years experience in sewer blockages, explains: “This time of year gets very busy for our teams because lots of extra holiday cooking means that a lot of extra fat, oil and grease end up clogging up our sewers, jamming up pumps, and wreaking havoc at our sewage treatment works.

“No one wants to deal with a clogged sewer or drain, especially over the holiday season. However, this is unfortunately when we see the most problems with blockages from fat, oil and grease.

“It’s easy to assume that the warm grease and fat left over from your Christmas turkey would be okay to dump down the sink, as long as you wash it down with a lot of hot soapy water. But the reality is that eventually the fat and grease will cool and solidify, then build up and block the drain or sewer. And with no way through, the waste water backs up the system, coming out of the drains, sewers, and potentially into your home.

So what should everyone do with their fat? Craig explains: “It’s better to wipe out any greasy pans with a bit of kitchen roll, or pour large amounts of left over cooking grease into a pot or jar with a lid then put it in the bin. Alternatively pour your fat into one of our free fat traps, just visit our website - www.stwater.co.uk/fattrap - for more information about how they work and to order one.

“But it’s not just fats, oils and grease that you need to think about, there are lots of other items that shouldn’t enter our sewers, such as sanitary products, kitchen roll, cleansing wipes, baby & facial wipes, nappies and cotton buds.”

More information about what not to put into the sewers can be found on our bag it and bin it page.

Severn Trent spends over £10 million each year regularly cleaning over 700 kilometres of sewers which are prone to clogging up and clearing nearly 22,000 sewer blockages, a cost which is passed on to customers.

Remember, the homeowner is responsible for the waste pipe running away from your house up until it either crosses the property boundary or joins with another waste pipe or sewer. If a problem occurs on this section of pipe, you will need to call a plumber. Severn Trent has a list of approved plumbers on its website at www.stwater.co.uk/watermark.

If you do run into problems over the festive period, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility, you can report it by calling 0800 783 4444.

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