Anglian Water is urging Christmas cooks not to let turkey fat escape down the plughole this festive season.
These year staff has been busy clearing thousands of blockages from the region’s pipes. There are more than 40,000 blockages a year in East Anglia – 80% of which are caused by wipes and fats. This adds £15million a year on to customers’ bills.
The problem is fat slides easily down the sink when warm but quickly cools and hardens underground, coating the sewer walls, restricting the flow of water and waste and increasing the risk of blockages or flooding. Fat also binds with other items that have been wrongly placed down the drain, such as wipes, cotton buds and sanitary items, known as “unflushables” – all of which should be binned instead.
The good news is these sewer blockages that can lead to devastating flooding and pollution of the surrounding environment, are completely avoidable if everyone does their bit to ‘keep it clear’.
Regan Harris from Anglian Water said: “This Christmas it’s estimated more than one million turkeys will be eaten in the Anglian region. The fat from cooking all these roasts means some 250 tonnes of fat, equivalent to one million blocks of butter or two blue whales, could be washed down the drains and can cause a major headache.
“When fats and oils find their way into our region’s sewers they cause thousands of blockages – we clear o
ne every 15 minutes. Blockages lead to sewage spills and if this happens on your property the repair bill will be one Christmas delivery you don’t want.
“Our advice to anyone cooking Christmas dinner is to let the fat cool and then scrape it into your bin, or use some newspaper to scoop it up and put in your food caddy or composter. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of inconvenience as well as protecting your homes and the local environment from nasty sewage spills.”
Anglian Water’s Festive Fat Facts
- One million turkeys will be eaten in the Anglian region this Christmas.
- The fat from cooking all these roasts weighs in at around 250 tonnes, equivalent to one million blocks of butter or two blue whales
- More than half of the 40,000 blockages Anglian Water clears each year are caused by avoidable blockages, predominantly made up of fat and wipes
- Today, one in every two adults in the UK purchases some kind of wipe. Baby wipes, household wipes and cleansing wipes cause the biggest problem and can choke the system if flushed down the loo.
- Unfortunately, some wipes labelled flushable or biodegradable don’t break up fast enough to make it through the water recycling process. This means Anglian Water has to take them out at its treatment works.
- Anglian Water spends around £15 million a year to clear blockages and on regular jetting to keep sewers blockage-free.