Kent has been named as the South East’s worst offender for pouring fat, oil and grease (FOG) down the sink.
This year Southern Water has had to deal with more than 1,170 blockages in Kent as result of people pouring the wrong things down the sink.
FOG may not appear harmful but as it enters the cold sewers it cools quickly, congeals and forms into a concrete like material.
While moving down the drain, FOG bonds with non-flushable items such as wet wipes and sanitary products. This causes the sewer pipes to block and can cause flooding of streets, gardens, homes and businesses.
Sussex was the second worst FOG offender followed by Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
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This information comes as Southern Water launched its first ever prosecution in November against a restaurant in East Grinstead, Sussex, for blocking sewers with FOG.
Southern Water investigators found clogged manholes flooding local roads and discharging into a surface water drain. The restaurant was consequently fined £1,473 and ordered to pay £812 legal costs.
Southern Water's Network Protection and Enforcement Officer Stephen Williams led the investigation. He said: “This ‘first’ prosecution is important as it shows that we will protect our customers and the environment. We have the authority to do this through the courts and we will take that action where necessary.”
The number of FOG related blockages across the South East is increasing every year and clearing these costs millions of pounds – money that could be saved on customers’ bills.
The correct way to dispose of FOG is to simply wait for the cooking oils to cool, pour it into a container and put it in the bin.