Southern Water teams are visiting Canterbury on Monday 26 February, helping residents and businesses understand why putting the wrong things down toilets and sinks can cause a stink in a joint ‘day of action’ with Canterbury City Council.
Our Network Enforcement Protection Officers will be teaming up with the Council’s Environmental Health Officers to visit around 40 food businesses in the town centre.
Many food and catering businesses don’t realise it’s a legal requirement for them to have systems in place to dispose of their fat, oil and grease in a way that doesn’t clog up our sewer system and is also kinder to the environment.
Dave Burnett, Network Enforcement Protection Officer, said:
"We’re visiting Canterbury on Monday because there have been 1,307 sewer blockages in the city in the last few years, which is above average in the Southern Water region.
“Putting the wrong things such as leftover cooking fat and oil, and unflushable items like wipes, tampons and condoms down sinks and toilets has a huge impact on the sewer system. Blockages cause nasty odour issues and, most importantly, can mean people's homes or businesses flood with sewage - which is a really upsetting experience.
"That's why we're working hard to raise awareness of what should and shouldn’t be put down our sinks and toilets. The easy rule to remember is only flush the three Ps – pee, poo and paper. Everything else should go in the bin rather than down the toilet or kitchen sink.”
With the average sewer pipe only about 10cm (four inches) in diameter, other items can easily clog sewer pipes, particularly when combined with fats or oils, which form a concrete like substance.
As well as visiting restaurants, cafes and take-aways in the city, our teams will be knocking on around 100 centrally located residences to help them understand how they can help themselves prevent blockages and sewage floods in their home, and will lift manhole covers to find any potential issues and dealing with them.
We’ll also have a base next to Marks & Spencers, Whitefriars, 4 St George Street, where we’ll be chatting to customers and handing out leaflets and freebies to help them dispose of their unflushable items and leftover cooking fat, oil and grease – without putting it down the sewer!
The work in Canterbury is the latest in a programme of days of action, established as part of Southern Water’s £1.4million, five-year investment programme to help customers understand the problems that fat, oil, grease and unflushables cause along our 39,600KM of sewers.
We also have a joint awareness-raising campaign with the independent consumer watchdog, the Consumer Council for Water. You can find more information on The Unflushables on our website.