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Severn Trent Water is reminding customers to dispose of fats, oils and greases correctly as major work continues in Gloucester to clean up the problem.
Investigations into recent sewage flooding in Bilberry Close showed that the problem was down to fats, oils and greases that had built up again in the sewer. Severn Trent say they have stressed the importance of disposing of these correctly, so are now naming and shaming the affected streets.
Severn Trent is urging customers in the GL4 area to change their behavior after years of sewage flooding in homes and streets, the latest being in Bilberry Close.
The town is amongst the worst in the entire region for causing blockages by not knowing what shouldn’t be flushed or put down the sink. The sewers have now been cleansed once more and letters are being sent to customers explaining that not following the advice could be costly if private pipes get blocked as well as unpleasant flooding.
Craig Bayliss, service delivery manager for the area, said:
“It’s easy to think ‘out of sight, out of mind’ when we pour fat down the sink or flush items down the loo that would be better off in the bin. But for sewer workers on the receiving end of rubbish it’s a constant battle.
It doesn’t even matter how big the sewer pipe is as even the largest get caked in fat and that’s when the blockages happen. There have been a high number of blockages in this area over the last 9 months. A blocked sewer is, of course, inconvenient for our customers but if it leads to sewer flooding it can be extremely unpleasant and stressful.
When blockages and sewer flooding are caused by misuse of sewers and drains, they can be completely avoided. The drains that take waste water away from your home are relatively small and are only meant to take water, loo roll and human waste. Remember toilet roll is meant to break down when it gets wet so it washes easily through the system. That’s not the case with things like sanitary products or cleansing wipes which can get stuck in smaller drains.
It’s also easy to assume that the warm grease left in a pan after frying bacon, or preparing your Sunday roast would be ok to dump down the sink - that if you wash it down with hot soapy water it’ll be fine. But the reality is that eventually the fat and grease will cool and solidify, over time building up and blocking the drain or sewer. Better to wipe it out with a bit of kitchen roll & put it in the bin, or pour it into one of the free fat traps that Severn Trent provides to its customers or even a food container that’s about to be thrown away.
Anything that gets stuck in the drain running from your home until it connects to Severn Trent’s sewer is the homeowner’s responsibility to repair and maintain, and unblocking, repairing, or replacing the waste pipe that runs from your home can be costly.”
Severn Trent spends over £10 million each year regularly cleaning over 700 kilometres of sewers which are prone to clogging up and clearing nearly 22,000 sewer blockages, a cost which is passed on to customers. Over £11 million has been invested in Gloucester sewers over the last two years.