Southern Water Blockage Busters visit Andover and West Hampshire

Southern Water’s team of fatberg-busting sewer experts is taking action to tackle a hot spot of blockages around Andover from 14th September to 10th October.

Sewer blockages caused by unflushables such as wet wipes, sanitary towels and nappies or incorrect disposal of cooking fat, oil or grease are a major cause of pollution incidents – including the misery of internal flooding for home and business owners.

In the past 10 years around SP10 3xx and SP10 4xx post codes, there have been 24 sewer blockages caused by fat deposits and 94 blockages due to a build-up of wipes and other unflushables.

These blockages have been directly linked to 68 internal flooding and 44 external flooding incidents – a horrible trauma for householders and business owners.

Elvira Gabos, Head of Southern Water’s Unflushables Team, said: “Some customers are unaware their actions are contributing towards blockages that can directly affect them and their neighbours. When we explain the impact of sewer misuse they are usually happy to make the simple changes needed to reduce the problem.

"The only thing that should go down the loo is the 3Ps – pee, poo and paper – the rest should go in the bin. And in the kitchen, collecting cooking grease and fats to dispose of them safely will keep the pipes flowing.

“Blocked sewers cause misery for our customers and contribute towards pollution incidents that cause harm to the environment. We have pledged to reduce pollution incidents by 75 per cent in the next four years with our work to improve our sewer network and systems.

“Now we’re calling on residents and business owners in Andover to help us achieve our goal by doing their bit so we can all benefit.”

The team will be visiting customers and crew equipped with jets to clear fatbergs and prevent blockages will also be operating in the area.

Elvira added: “The misery for our customers and the impact on the environment from this level of incidents is simply unacceptable.

“We have jetted sewers in the area numerous times but the solution isn’t just sewer cleaning, it’s local action. People need to understand the consequences for the environment – and the risks to their own property.”

Notes to Editors:

This is the team’s second visit to the area this year. They also visited the SP10 5xx postcode area where 1,650 households were contacted by letter and 587 customers were spoken to face to face.