Sewers put on post Christmas diet
South West Water is reminding its customers not to pour fat,oil and grease (FOG) down the sink this Christmas.
Fat, oil and grease (FOG) accounts for 70% of blockages in the South West's sewers and over Christmas South West Water estimates that the amount being rinsed down peoples sinks could increase by 25% as people prepare their festive feasts.
To make sure it doesn't clog up your pipes they recommend pouring fat from pots, pans and roasting tins into a container, allowing it to solidify and recycling it as bird feed or putting it in the bin.
South West Water has also launched a pilot project 'Stop & Think - not down the sink' to tackle the problem. Working with Environmental Health Officers, the company is visiting caterers across the region to tell them about the best ways to keep fat, oil, grease (FOG) and food waste, out of drains and sewers.
John Perriam, Sewerage Management Strategist at South West Water, said: "The visits will help caterers keep their own drainage in good order as well as reducing the risk of blockages and sewer flooding.
"Every year, the equivalent volume of 21 double-decker buses of fat is removed from the region's sewers, costing customers over £1.5 million annually. This can lead to sewer flooding and pollution, so it is vital we tackle this issue not just for economic reasons but also to protect our customers and the environment."
South West Water hopes this initiative, which is supported by the government and the Consumer Council for Water, will remind people that sewers are for sewage and not for other waste.
Diane McCrea from the Consumer Council for Water said, "Clearing sewer blockages is a cost to water companies that unfortunately gets passed onto all customers' bills. Consumers have a vital role to play in helping to reduce the number of sewer flooding incidents caused by blockages by disposing of fats, oils and grease responsibly."
- Ends -
Notes to editors
So far South West Water has carried out over 450 audits across the region.
South West Water supports the principles of Reduce, Re-use and Recycle and recommends putting waste in the bin only when you are unable to follow these principles.
South West Water is extremely grateful for the co-operation extended to them by Environmental Health Officers from numerous District Councils across the region.
Published: 12 December 2008