Warwick Castle dates back almost 11 centuries and survived an attack in 1264, a siege in 1642 and a fire in 1871. Who would have thought that fat poured down the drains would have almost been its downfall in 2017?
Last week, we discovered that fat was completely blocking part of the town’s sewers. Malcolm Smith, customer and community lead, explains: “Since this issue first came to light in 2015, when we found that there was a major problem with fat building up in the town sewers, we’ve been constantly monitoring the system in Warwick. And last week we’ve found that the town’s businesses and residents haven’t learnt their lesson as it’s happening all over again!
"Huge amounts of fat are congealing in the town’s sewers and drains and if we don’t clear it out again soon, there could be sewer flooding throughout the town - along roads, into houses and gardens, and worryingly, at the world famous Warwick Castle. There could also be sewage flooding into the river close to where people hire boats. We can’t allow this to happen, not to our customers, and not to the visitors to the castle, so we are acting fast.”
Part of the sewer system will need to be switched off, drained and thoroughly cleaned to allow the town’s sewage water to flow freely through the pipes. The pipes in question, to the South East corner of Warwick Castle, make sure waste water can be taken underneath the River Avon towards its destination of Longbridge Sewage Works, just outside of the town, but only when they’re fat-free.
Malcolm continued: “It would appear that Warwick is under constant threat from fat. This is a common problem in our towns and cities, as people constantly pour oil and fat down our drains, and flush wipes down toilets. As part of our strategy to prevent sewer misuse, we’ll be visiting restaurants and take-aways in Warwick yet again to talk to owners about safe disposal of fat to try to prevent this happening again. But there’s a part for our customers in Warwick to play too – please put wipes in the bin, not down the toilet and pour cooking oil and fat into a sealable container when it’s cold, and throw that into the bin too.”
Customers can order a free 'fat trap' here to collect their leftover fats, oils and greases in before disposing in the bin.