By Drain Doctor on 12/05/2016

The Southern Water ‘Keep it Clear’ campaign is a year old. It has now embarked on the second year of its five year campaign to keep sewers in the South East of England free of fat, oil and grease and unflushable material such as nappies and wet wipes.

The £1.4 million campaign is aiming to raise awareness about the fact more than 23,000 blockages occur in the 39,600 kilometres of sewers in Southern Water’s region every year, which can lead to sewage backing up and spilling out of people’s toilets, sinks or manholes and into their homes and gardens.

About two-thirds of these blockages are caused by fat, oil and grease (FOG) being washed or poured down the kitchen sink, or by unflushable items like nappies and wipes being flushed down the toilet, instead of being put in the bin.

Tim Bagnall, Southern Water’s waste services manager, said: “Sewer flooding can be a really upsetting experience for our customers, so we want to raise awareness of what we should and shouldn’t be putting down our sinks and toilets, in order to keep drains and sewers flowing clear.

“Our sewer pipes are much smaller than many people think – only about 10 cm (four inches) in diameter, which is about the size of an orange – so the only things we can safely flush down them are the three Ps – pee, poo and paper.

“All other items, like nappies, cotton buds, wet wipes or oil and leftover food in the kitchen, should all go in the bin rather than down the kitchen sink, and into drains and sewers.”

If you are unlucky enough to suffer overflowing drains due to problems with FOG call Drain Doctor on 0800 70 71 72. In order to prevent problems with oil and grease build up, ask about fitting grease traps.