Warning over sewers

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SEWER bosses have issued a warning to people to watch out as extra festive cooking can sometimes lead to blocked drains.

Steve Raffle and Darren Buttler work for Severn Trent as Network technicians, looking after the sewers in and around the area. This time of year gets very busy for them, they say, because a lot of extra holiday cooking means that a lot of extra fat, oil and grease end up clogging up sewers, jamming up pumps, and wreaking havoc at sewage treatment works.

Steve said: “No one wants to deal with a clogged sewer or drain, especially over the holiday season. Unfortunately, that’s when we see the most problems with blockages from fat, oil and grease.

“It’s easy to assume that the warm grease and fat left over from your Christmas turkey 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 eventually the fat and grease will cool and solidify, building up and blocking the drain or sewer. Better to wipe out any greasy pans with a bit of kitchen roll then put it in the bin, or pour large amounts of left over cooking grease into a pot or jar with a lid, or one of the free fat traps that Severn Trent provides to its customers.”

Darren added: “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 avoidable, if you’re careful about what you put down your loo or your sink.

“The drains that take waste water away from your home are only a few centimeters wide and are only meant to take water, loo roll and human waste. Remember toilet roll is meant to break down when it gets wet so it washes easily through the system. That’s not the case with things like sanitary products or cleansing wipes which can get stuck in smaller drains.”

Severn Trent spends over £10 million each year regularly cleaning over 700 kilometres of sewers which are prone to clogging up and clearing nearly 22,000 sewer blockages, a cost which is passed on to customers. But by following Steve and Darren’s Top Tips, customers can help avoid any problems this holiday season