Help stop pain in the drain

Southern Water is teaming up with supermarkets Waitrose and Sainsbury’s to encourage customers across Sussex not to cause pains in the drain this Christmas.

Since January, more than 2,500 sewer blockages have been caused by people in the county pouring waste cooking fat, oil and grease, down their kitchen sinks or drains.

These blockages can lead to flooding inside homes and businesses and are expensive to clear.

Hastings and St Leonards are in the top six locations with the highest number of blockages caused by cooking fat, oil and grease (FOG) in Sussex, with Bexhill in the top 15. Since January there have been 173 blockages in Hastings and St Leonards and 65 in neighbouring Bexhill.

Southern Water is now working with the retailers to give away thousands of fat traps and fat funnels to people buying their Christmas turkey or roast from participating Waitrose stores, or ordering online from Sainsbury’s. The traps and funnels can be used to collect FOG for recycling or disposal via the bin.

Paul Kent, wastewater strategy manager for Southern Water, said: “It is fantastic to be working with Waitrose and Sainsbury’s to raise awareness about the impact of pouring fat, for example, from your Christmas dinner, down the plug hole or drain. When that fat enters the sewers, it cools, forming blockages that can be as hard as concrete. These then trap other items, such as wet-wipes, which should also not be thrown away via the sewer system. By using one of the free fat traps from Waitrose, or the free fat traps and funnels from Sainsbury’s, people can help keep sewers in their neighbourhood running freely.”

Quentin Clark, Waitrose’s head of sustainability and ethical sourcing, added: “Fat in the sewers is a big problem, particularly at this time of year. We are committed to supporting Southern Water and helping to reduce this problem.” Paul Crewe, head of sustainability for Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re proud to be distributing thousands of fat traps and funnels this year. As well as keeping the wastewater network flowing, the cooking oil and fat captured from your roast this Christmas could be turned into bio-fuel to power vehicles.”

Further information on disposing of fat, oil and grease safely is available via www.southernwater.co.uk/paininthedrain.

You can also follow Southern Water’s mascot Bruce the Sewer Monster on Twitter via @MrBruceMonster.