Festive fat advice to stop drain misery
In the run-in to Christmas and the New Year celebrations, South West Water is reminding customers to avoid the misery of blocked drains and expensive call-out fees to plumbers by reducing the amount of fat, grease and oil which is emptied down sinks and toilets.
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Used cooking fats and oils can easily build up and block waste pipes, in and close to home, causing sewage back ups that can result in expensive repair bills and sheer misery.
The resulting solidified 'gunge' can also block the main drainage system itself, causing overflows of foul water into our rivers and seas.
One bright solution comes in the form of the 'Fat Trap' - a screw top container, designed and sold by an enterprising North Devon couple, that sits neatly at the side of the sink or cooker until it's needed. Just pour unwanted oil or fat once it has cooled into the funnelled device. When full, screw the top down tightly and dispose of it responsibly, via the dustbin. (More information can be obtained from www.lessmess.co.uk or telephone 01271 817977).
Other products that can cause, or contribute to, blockages include cotton buds and sanitary products. These items should be placed into bags and disposed of safely in the normal household rubbish.
Andrew Roantree, South West Water's Waste Water Services Manager, explained: "The festive season provides an appropriate time to remind people about the problems that can be caused by pouring fat and oil down the drains. We do not want them to have problems - especially over the Christmas holidays.
"South West Water is responsible for enough sewers to stretch from the West Country to Hong Kong and has to spend around £1 million of customers' money every year just cleaning its pipelines, but problems will arise first, much nearer to home, on customer's own drainage systems which are much smaller and prone to blockages."
Mr Roantree added: "It is amazing what we find in sewers sometimes - everything from wedding rings to false teeth to golf clubs. These sort of objects, whilst a little amusing or bewildering, can contribute to blockages causing sewage flooding in homes and overflows into our beautiful local environment."
For further information please contact Stephen Swain, Communications Manager on 01392 443022.
Published: 7th December 2004