Severn Trent shares a week of FOG

Thursday 6th January 2022

Teams at Severn Trent’s sewage treatment works deal with the sort of things that most people don’t want to think about. But, following on from the recent festive period, as well as the usual waste coming into the works, they’re also having to deal with the triple threat of fats, oils and greases, also known as FOG.

Every week huge masses of fat, oil and grease, which shouldn’t be poured down the drains, end up in Severn Trents sewers. The congealed mess is not only horrible to deal with but it can also clog up the works and, before it even gets there, it can block sewers, which can have a devastating impact.

Phillip Powell, from Severn Trent, explains: “Fat, oil and grease is a real problem all year round, but around Christmas and New Year we always see an increase in the amount arriving into our works which can cause big problems. In some cases we have to hire in vacuum wagons to remove huge breeze block sized chunks of FOG as they can cause huge blockages within the pipe work.

“Pouring your cooking fat down the sink might seem like the easy thing to do but, once in the sewer system, it congeals into solid lumps which can then combine with other things like wet wipes which don’t break down. This can easily lead to a big blockage and sewer flooding, which is really horrible thing for anyone to experience. To avoid blockages we advise waiting for cooking fats, oils and greases to cool before disposing of them in the bin.”

The company said that in the last year alone it has been called out to thousands of blockages across the region, of which the majority were caused by people misusing the sewer system by washing and flushing things like FOG, wipes, nappies, sanitary products and tampons down the drains.

Phil added: “Many customers also may not realise that they 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. It doesn’t take much to cause a blockage and unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, but it’s completely avoidable if you’re careful about what you pour down your sink and flush down your toilet.”

If customers do run into problems, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility they can be reported at or by calling 0800 783 4444.