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Fat, oils and grease

Fat, oils and grease often end up being washed down the kitchen sink but this can cause big problems for your pipes and our sewers.


What's the impact of fat, oils and grease blockages?

Fats and oils collect inside the sewers. Over time, they harden to a concrete-like material and restrict the flow of wastewater in the pipes.

These blockages can cause wastewater to back up through toilets and sinks into homes and businesses – or escape through manholes into streets and rivers.

This could be sewer flooding in your neighbourhood or pollution in local streams.

What do fat blockages look like?

Our teams regularly send cameras into our sewers to find the cause of fat blockages. The film below shows them in action in a sewer in Kent.

Fat facts 

  • More than 3,000 homes are flooded in the UK each year because of blockages caused by a build up of fat, oils and grease.
  • £90 million is spent every year on clearing fat, oil and grease blockages across the country – money that could otherwise be passed on to you in savings.
  • As well as causing blockages leading to flooding, a build-up of fat, oils and grease can also put our wastewater pumping stations out of action.

How to prevent fat, oil and grease blockages at home

Our sewers are only designed to take away the three Ps – pee, poo and paper.

Here are our top tips to avoid fat, oils, grease and other items building up in the sewer:

  • Use containers to collect fat. You can use butter tubs, yoghurt pots, jam jars or another container to collect cooled fat and oil. When they're full, put them in the bin.
  • Clear your plates. Scrape any leftover food or grease and fat residue from plates, pans or cooking utensils into the bin.
  • Use a bin in your bathroom. Put a bin in your bathroom for anything that isn’t pee, poo or paper.
  • Bag it and bin it. Use scented nappy sacks or dog poo bags for any rubbish that may cause a smell.
  • Compost your food waste. Collect uncooked fruit and vegetable peelings for use as compost in your garden
  • Strain it. Use a sink strainer or drain protector to stop hair from blocking your drain.

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