3d art being designed

Anglian Water will be taking to the streets of Peterborough this week to celebrate the city’s success at preventing sewer blockages by disposing of cooking fats, oils and greases properly.

Residents and businesses in Peterborough were the first to take part in Anglian Water’s Keep It Clear campaign two years ago. Since then there has been a 94 per cent reduction in sewer blockages caused by the wrong things being put down drains and toilets and now the water company is urging more people to do their bit.  

To explain how, Anglian Water is kicking off a regional road show with an elaborate 3D display outside Primark and BHS in Queensgate Shopping Centre on the Friday 6th and Saturday 7th December. The street art will remind visitors of the mess fats and unflushable items, like wet wipes and nappies, make of the city’s vital sewer network.  

Warm cooking fats, oils and greases being poured down the plughole are the main cause of sewer blockages – especially at Christmas. The fats slide easily down the sink when warm but quickly cool and harden, coating the walls of the sewers and creating giant ‘fatbergs’ underground. These rock-hard blockages can cause sewers to back-up and overflow leading to flooding in homes and gardens as well the environment.  

More than half of the 35,000 blockages Anglian Water clears each year are caused in this way at a cost of around £7 million a year.  

Rachel Dyson, from Anglian Water, said: “In Cambridgeshire we’ve cleared more than 1,265 blockages since April this year including 277 in Peterborough. However, in Stanground and Gladstone where the Keep it Clear campaign has been running there’s been a huge reduction of 94 per cent.  

“The people of Peterborough have done a fantastic job in reducing the risk of sewer flooding by disposing of their cooking fat responsibly and not putting unflushable items, like wet wipes, down the toilet and we want more people to follow in their footsteps by swapping a few bad habits for a few good ones.  

“Over half the sewer blockages we are called out to clear can be avoided simply by letting fats cool and then putting them in the bin, rather than washing them down the sink. It’s a small change we can all make that will make a huge difference to the state of the sewers.  

“While we are in Queensgate this week we will be offering lots of information, tips and freebies to encourage people to continue with their Keep It Clear habits and reduce sewer blockages even further. There will also be a competition to win £100 of Amazon vouchers.”  

This Christmas it’s estimated around one million turkeys will be eaten in the Anglian region. The fat from cooking all these birds and roast potatoes means some 250 tonnes of fat, equivalent to one million blocks of butter or two blue whales, could be washed down the drains.  

Rachel continued: “Christmas is one of our busiest times of the year and when we see the biggest rise in the number of blockages caused by cooking fat, oil and grease.  

“A blocked sink or drain is always horrible, but even more so at Christmas. The consequences are often bad smells from drains or, worse still, sewage backing up in homes and gardens. And if it’s your private drain that is blocked with fat, it can also be very expensive.”  

Visit www.keep-it-clear.co.uk for more information. Customers are also reminded to call Anglian Water on 03457 145145 immediately if they think they have a problem with their drains.