How to avoid a ‘festive fatburg’ - after numerous blocked pipes across Derbyshire

People in Derbyshire have been advised on how to ensure they can enjoy the upcoming festivities without blocked pipes causing any problems.

Friday, 17th December 2021, 2:18 pm

Severn Trent Water reported that in the last year, it has been called out to numerous blockages across the Derbyshire region- the majority of which were caused by the wrong things being flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink.

Severn Trent’s sewer blockages lead, Grant Mitchell, said these sorts of issues are easily avoidable if people consider the things they are putting down their drains.

He said: “Clogged drains and burst pipes should be the last thing customers need to worry about at this time of the year. We often mention ‘FOG’ to our customers- fats, oils and greases- but there are also many other unlikely suspects, such as gravy, sauces, soup and leftover food that can easily cause a problem in your household pipes.

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Residents were told that such blockages are avoidable if they are careful with what they dispose of down their drains.

“Once food waste reaches the pipes it hardens and can attach to other unflushable items, such as wet wipes and sanitary products, to create a blockage or even a fatberg, which is a horrible thing for anyone to experience, especially over the festive period. Many customers may not realise that they are responsible for the waste pipe running away from their home up until it either crosses the property boundary or meets with another waste pipe or sewer.

“Unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, but completely avoidable if you’re careful about what you put down your toilet or your sink. We’re sure that nobody wants to be responsible for creating a fatberg, and by binning FOG and food waste, rather than blocking drains and sewers, customers can ensure they stay firmly on our nice list this Christmas!”

Mr Mitchell offered Derbyshire residents a range of tips for avoiding a ‘festive fatberg’: instead of pouring used cooking oil, fat, grease, gravies, soups and sauces down the sink or outside drains, collect it in a container, jar or tin and put it in the bin once cool. It is also recommended to wipe food waste before washing up- use kitchen roll or paper towels to soak up grease from plates and pans.

People were also advised to use a sink strainer to catch food waste before it reaches the pipe, and to avoid flushing the following items down their toilets: wet wipes, sanitary products, tampons, paper towels and nappies. Other toiletries such as razors, cotton buds and dental floss cause blockages if they’re flushed as well- residents were told to bag them up and put them in the bathroom bin.

More information on protecting your home this winter can be found here.

If you do run into problems with either slow drains or a blocked sewer, which is Severn Trent’s responsibility, you can report it here or by calling 0800 783 4444. Severn Trent teams both in the call centre and in the field work all day, every day, so even on Christmas Day, there will be someone available to help out with any problems that customers might have.