We're on the lookout for people flushing fat, oil and grease (FOG) into the sewers in Uttoxeter after finding pipes at our sewage works completely blocked.
While doing some work on site at Uttoxeter Sewage Works, engineers found some of the pipes used to carry sewage through the works were completely blocked with solidified fat – as solid as concrete. If we hadn’t found it when we did, the blockage could have eventually stopped the works from doing its job and caused all sorts of issues for customers in the local area.
Grant Mitchell, sewer blockages lead, explains: “This latest blockage, at our sewage works, was so completely solid it was like concrete and we had to physically dig it out. We really need help from all of our customers to stop this from happening again. Our contract partners, ECAS, will be talking to local food businesses, to see if they need help disposing of FOG in the right way – using grease trapping equipment.
“It’s easy to assume that the warm grease and fat left over from cooking would be ok to dump down the sink, as long as you wash it down with a lot of hot soapy water. But the reality is that quite quickly the fat and grease will cool and solidify, building up and blocking the drain or sewer as it has done in the sewage works. It’s much better for businesses to install a grease trap, and for people at home to wipe out any greasy pans with a bit of kitchen roll, and then put it in the bin. You can pour left over cooking
grease into a pot or jar with a lid, and then, when it’s cooled, simply pop it in the bin.”
These sewer blockages, if not identified and cleared can lead to sewers backing up and overflowing into people’s homes and gardens, or in this case could stop the sewage treatment works from working as the sewer behind the blockage is full. And it’s not necessarily the people who put the wrong things down sinks, drains and toilets that are affected. The blockage can happen further down the street, so what you do in your own home or business, can be causing a problem for your neighbours.