Six things that should never go down your drain

Friday 18th December

With Christmas just around the corner, Severn Trent is asking customers to help avoid festive sewer blockages by binning food, fats, oils and greases (FOG) rather than putting them down the drain.

Research by the company in November 2020 shows that 36 percent of customers regularly dispose of FOG and other food waste down the sink, toilet or outside drain - with gravy, sauces, yoghurt, soup, coffee grounds and food scraps taking the top spots.

Severn Trent’s sewer blockages lead, Grant Mitchell, explained: “While we often mention ‘FOG’ to our customers, there are also many unlikely suspects, such as gravy, sauces, soup and leftover food that can also easily cause a problem. Once food waste reaches the pipes it hardens and can attach to other unflushable items, such as wet wipes and sanitary products, to create a blockage or even a fatberg, which is a horrible thing for anyone to experience. 

“While we completely understand that disposing of FOG and other food waste can sometimes be tricky, there are a few simple things customers can do to reduce the chance of a blockage. 

Grant’s tips on avoiding blockages this winter:

- Scrape pots, pans and plates before washing up 

- Use a strainer in your kitchen sink 

- Use kitchen roll to wipe down grease from pans and plates

- Collect used oil in a container and throw it in the bin once cooled

Grant added: “Many customers 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. Unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, but completely avoidable if you’re careful about what you put down your toilet or your sink. We’re sure that nobody wants to be responsible for creating a fatberg, and by binning FOG and food waste, rather than blocking drains and sewers, customers can ensure they stay firmly on our nice list this Christmas!”

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