Have a flippin’ good pancake day and don’t make it a flop with a blockage 

12th February 2024

Shrove Tuesday has “creped” back round again for another year and many of us will be indulging in a pancake or two.

But ahead of the annual celebration Severn Trent is asking customers to make sure that the day doesn’t fall flat and cause them to flip out by binning leftover food waste rather than putting it down the drain.

Going ahead on Tuesday, February 13th, the advice comes as the batter to make pancakes and the fats, oils, and greases (FOG) used to cook them can create potential blockages and fatbergs in the sewers.

The water company is offering advice to customers as they enjoy the traditional treat and ask everyone to make sure they are passing the information on to neighbours and loved ones, so that we can all ‘weather the winter together’

Grant Mitchell, sewer blockages lead at Severn Trent, said: “This pancake day, we just need people to have a think about what they are putting down their drains and whether it could have an impact on the sewers. 

“Many people think pancake batter is harmless, but that and the fats, oils and greases that it all produces can cause massive problems if it’s washed down the drain.

“All of this combined can quickly harden once it reaches the pipes and can attach to other unflushable items, such as wet wipes and sanitary products, creating a blockage or even a fatberg, which is something nobody would wish to experience.”

When cooking in the kitchen, customers are asked to: 

  • Use kitchen roll to soak up grease from plates and pans before washing up  

  • Collect used cooking oil, fat and grease into a container, jar or tin and put it in the bin once cool  

A staggering 34,580 blockages were dealt with by waste teams at the water company last year, who also prevented 12.4 million litres of fats, oils and greases from entering the sewer, something that could have been avoided if unflushable items were put in the bin rather than down the toilet and sink.

Along with that, every week, around two and a half tones of wipes and other items which shouldn’t be flushed are pulled out of our sewers – that’s about the same weight as a Range Rover. 

Further information on protecting your home from blockages can be found here.