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This holiday, don’t be a pain in the drain

Press release
Sewers and drainage
18 December 2015
scraping leftover food from plate to bin

If you want a care-free Christmas, there's one sure way to keep the air clear. Spare our sewers from yuletide leftovers, unwanted fat and roast run-off.

Oils and greasy foods overload the sewer - whether from roasting tins emptied down the drain or trimmings washed down the sink. They don't disappear, these fats: they linger, clinging to the wastepipes and reaching out to grab anything solid passing down the sewer. Eventually they block up. After that, they back-up, bringing flood misery into the home.

Water companies already deal with more than 3,000 flooding incidents a year, from 366,000 blockages, and annual costs are now running to £88 million.

So it's more important than ever that we all take extra seasonal care to use the recycling or the bin, not the u-bend, to dispose of all food waste, oil and grease. Simply pour excess cooking oil back into a bottle, scrape it off or mop it up with kitchen paper and dispose of it away from the water wastepipes.

What's more, sanitary products and wipes can be real party-poopers: if you flush them, they do not break down but sit in the sewer like an undigested extra helping. Eventually they refuse to let by anything else we flush.

So by throwing all non-flushable bathroom 'products' into the bin (only wee, poo and paper go down the loo!) we keep out the bulk matter that sticks to and then blocks up the wastepipes.

Remember this Christmas: pour fats into a bottle or mop with paper and put into the waste, not down the sink or drain. And flushing is for flushables… to avoid unmentionables.

Wishing you a magical and worry-free Xmas, from all at Water UK.

Get the facts on sewer care

Water companies have teamed up with Sainsbury's to help save the drains this Christmas

Find out more

This easy-to-follow infographic guides you on how to dispose of fats, oils and greases so you can help keep Britain's wastewater network flowing this Christmas.

Infographic on disposal of fat, oil and grease