Love (your drains) Actually says Severn Trent this Christmas 

20th December 2022

Severn Trent is sharing some top tips this winter to help customers to avoid the drama of a blocked sewer over the festive period.  

Engineers from the water and waste company have been called out to numerous unpleasant blockages across the region recently, with the majority caused by the wrong things being flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink.

And to highlight the issue, Severn Trent has re-created a famous scene from Love Actually celebrating the film’s 20th anniversary, to spread the word on all things blockages this Christmas.  

Severn Trent’s FOG strategy lead, Grant Mitchell, said: “This Christmas, our customers should be concentrating on enjoying their festivities, not dealing with clogged drains or blocked pipes. It’s a time of year we see a spike in blockages caused by FOG – fats, oils and greases - which is why we wanted to put this video together; it’s a fun way to advise customers not to put FOG down drains or sinks.  

“It’s easy to assume warm grease and fat left over from your dinner would be okay to pour down the sink, as long as you wash it down with a lot of hot soapy water. But the reality is the fat and grease will cool quickly and solidify – especially in cold weather - mixing in with the wipes that don’t break down when you flush them, building up and creating ‘fatbergs’, which then block the drain or sewer. It’s a horrible thing for anyone to experience, especially at Christmas.”  

Grant’s top tips for avoiding a festive fatberg:   

In the kitchen:   

·         Instead of pouring used cooking oil, fat, grease, gravies, soups and sauces down the sink or outside drains, collect it in a container, jar or tin and put it in the bin once cool.   

·         Wipe food waste before washing up - use kitchen roll or paper towels to soak up grease from plates and pans.    

·         Use a sink strainer to catch food waste before it reaches the pipe. 

In the bathroom:   

·         Only ever flush the 3 P’s (pee, poo and toilet paper) down the loo - wet wipes, sanitary products, tampons, paper towels and nappies don’t break down in the sewers and                 can cause blockages.   

·         Other toiletries such as razors, cotton buds and dental floss cause blockages if they’re flushed down the loo as well. Bag them up and put them in the bathroom bin. 

Grant added: “Customers are responsible for the waste pipe running away from their home up until it either crosses the property boundary or meets with another waste pipe or sewer and unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, which nobody wants right now. It’s worth thinking twice before you pour FOG down the sink or drain, and we’d love our customers to spread these important messages with their friends, family and neighbours to make sure we all weather the winter together this festive season.” 

More information on protecting your home this winter can be found here

If customers run into problems this winter, with either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility, they can report it at or by calling 0800 783 4444. Severn Trent teams both in the call centre and in the field work all day, every day, so even on Christmas Day they will be available to help out with any problems customers might have.  

The opening times for the call centre dealing with customer bill enquiries can be found below:    

24th December – 8am to 1pm   
25th and 26th December – closed   
27th December – 9am to 5pm  

28th, 29th and 30th December – 8am to 8pm  
31st December – 8am to 1pm  
1st January – closed    

2nd January – 9am to 5pm