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 40,000 blockages a year in East Anglia alone - costing the company a whopping £19million a year, money which could ultimately be better spent elsewhere within the business.
The wrongful disposal of fats, oils and greases can lead to devastating flooding and environmental pollution. Staggeringly, 80% of all these blockages are completely avoidable through simple behaviour changes. Anglian Water is encouraging everyone to ‘Keep It Clear’ this Christmas by disposing of their waste responsibly.
The festive period sees an increase in the disposal of food waste and this is often at the detriment of the region’s sewers. Fat often slides easily down the sink as a warm liquid. However, the fat quickly cools and hardens, coating sewer walls and pipes, restricting the flow of water and increasing the likelihood of blockages or flooding. Fat also binds with other items that have also been wrongfully disposed of, such as wipes, cotton buds and sanitary items, known as “unflushables” – all of which should be binned instead.
Regan Harris from Anglian Water said: “This Christmas, it’s estimated more than one million turkeys will be eaten in the Anglian region. Each turkey produces three-quarters of a pint of fat, meaning 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.
“We have to clear a blockage once every 15 minutes due to the amount of fats, oils and greases that find their way into our region’s sewers. Blockages lead to sewage spills, and if this happens on your property the repair bill will be one Christmas present you definitely don’t want.
“Our advice to anyone cooking Christmas dinner is to let 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