Sewer blockage

Anglian Water is urging Christmas cooks not to let turkey fat escape down the plughole this festive season. 

This year staff have been busy clearing thousands of blockages from the region’s pipes. There are more than 30,000 blockages a year in East Anglia - 80% of which are caused by wipes and fats. This adds £15million a year on to customers’ bills.

But the Keep It Clear campaign team have also been busy spreading the message in schools, at community events, in the media and on Twitter and Facebook.

Rachel Dyson, Keep It Clear campaign manager at Anglian Water, said: “An average cooked turkey produces ¾ of a pint of fat. Turkey and goose fat is fantastic for crisping up those roast potatoes on Christmas Day, but if it gets poured down the sink it can cause a major headache.

“Around 20,000 tonnes of fats and oils find their way into our region’s sewers each year and they cause thousands of blockages. 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.”

This festive season the Keep It Clear team have found a new way to get the message across in a fun and engaging way, by launching Anglian Water’s very first panto.

The show, featuring Dame Flush, her son Justin, damsel in distress Sinkerella and the dastardly baddie Wicked Wipe, has already been seen by schoolchildren and members of the public at Christmas events in the region, and it will continue to be performed throughout January.

The cast of the show are all from the educational performance team Mad Science and they are weaving wacky experiments and daring demonstrations into the story to help explain how our pipes get blocked. And they’re not just talking about fats and oils – wet wipes are another big problem for our region’s pipes and result in hundreds of blockages and sewer spills in East Anglia every year.