Blocked Sewers Pack a Hefty Price for UK County

Company Says over 10-million pounds spent on clogged drains

When one thinks of what is likely found in sewers, one certainly does not guess “parts from a tractor” or “a lamppost,” however, that is exactly what was found among blockages in the last year in Leicestershire.

Water supplier Severn Trent stated that the county has spent over 10 million pounds within the last four years handling over 4,000 blockages within the area.

While the lamppost and tractor were the most unusual, the company in charge of handling the blockages noted that three quarters of the blockages were caused by individuals putting things like oil and wet naps down toilets.

Waste water manager at Severn Trent, Jason Lingard, stated “We call this ‘sewer misuse’, and what we mean is people washing fats, oils and greases down the sink which then solidify when they hit the sewers and block them.” He continued, stating “It’s easy to assume the warm grease and fat left over from your Sunday dinner would be okay to dump down the sink, as long as you wash it down with a lot of hot soapy water. The reality is the fat and grease will cool and solidify, building up and blocking the drain or sewer.”

Lingard added some tips for those who may not be aware of proper disposal, stating: “It’s better to wipe out any greasy pans with a bit of kitchen roll then put it in the bin, or pour large amounts of leftover cooking grease into a pot or jar with a lid or one of the free ‘fat traps’ Severn Trent provides to its customers.”

Severn Trent’s spokeswoman, Sarah-Jayne O’Kane, stated that among the most common drain blockages were wet naps She said: “The drains that take waste water away from your home are only a few inches wide and are only meant to take water, toilet roll and human waste.”

“Toilet roll is meant to break down when it gets wet so it washes easily through the system. That’s not the case with sanitary products or cleansing wipes, which can get stuck in smaller drains. These blockages can lead to sewers backing up and overflowing into homes and gardens.”


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