Severn Trent undertakes crackdown on sewer misuse to keep Warwick blockage free
Wednesday 26 April 2023
Following a series of major blockages in a sewer pipe in Warwick, Severn Trent has been hitting the streets to talk with hundreds of customers and businesses in a bid to crack down on sewer misuse in the town.
Last week, the water and waste company’s network protection team, in collaboration with contract partners ECAS, posted hundreds of letters and had doorstep conversations with customers in the town about blockages. They also met with nearly 100 food service establishments (FSE’s) who have vowed to install grease trapping equipment in their kitchens to help tackle the problem.
This campaign comes as a major pipe on Mill Street is regularly getting blocked by fats, oils and greases (FOG) as well as unflushables such as wet wipes. The pipe has to be cleared by Severn Trent engineers every 12-18 months, which can cause disruption to those living in the area.
Latest data shows that Severn Trent cleared over around 30,000 blockages in one year, with 3,000 of them being in Coventry and Warwickshire. The company urged customers in Warwick to keep the network free of blockages by giving advice such as waiting for FOG to cool before disposing of it in the bin, and only flushing the three P’s – pee, paper and poo. Advice was also given to FSE’s about how to install effective grease trapping equipment in their kitchens, so FOG doesn’t enter the network.
Grant Mitchell, Severn Trent’s blockages lead, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to have a chat with us this week in Warwick. Our team had a great time meeting customers and spreading our important messages and hopefully we can keep Warwick blockage free.
The last thing anyone wants is for their home or business to be faced with sewer flooding that’s totally avoidable. We were finding that our team were being called to Mill Street to clear blockages more frequently than we’d expect, with the majority of issues being caused by sewer misuse as the pipe was blocked with FOG and wipes. Most recently, our teams had to go into the pipe for a thorough deep clean and removed a huge amount of FOG.
“When FOG enters our sewer network, it can attach to other things that shouldn’t be flushed, such as wipes and sanitary products and quickly block sewer pipes. Blockages can cause sewage to back up into people’s homes, the street or even into the local environment and it’s totally avoidable.”
For further information and ways to avoid sewer misuse, visit www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/waste-water/looking-after-your-sewers/avoiding-blockages/
If customers do run into problems, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility they can be reported at www.stwater.co.uk or by calling 0800 783 4444.