The holidays are a great time to get everyone together. But a full house means a chaotic kitchen and a busy bathroom. If someone puts the wrong thing down the sink or loo, it could really ruin the mood. Here’s how you can avoid a blocked drain causing a festive flop.

Sadly, 300,000 homes suffer from sewer flooding each year. Most of these are caused by people putting the wrong things down their drains. We’re sure you’d rather be flooded with gifts than raw sewage this Christmas. So, during the season of goodwill, we’re spreading the word about how people can do their bit to protect their homes and communities from sewer flooding.

The ghost of flushes past…

Why can what you flush come back to haunt you? Because putting the wrong things down your drains can block or damage the sewers. If wastewater has nowhere else to go, it can back-up into your toilets and sinks and flood local homes and businesses. The mess is horrible, your favourite things could be ruined and the repairs can be costly. Because all our pipes are linked, your neighbours could be the ones who suffer too.

To protect homes and communities from sewer flooding, our dedicated FOG and Unflushables team investigates sewer blockages and shares tips to keep drains flowing. This year, we’ve been targeting blockage hotspots across our region.

While one crew surveys and cleans the sewers, another team goes door-to-door to talk to local people about how they can help us keep them flowing freely. The team has discovered over 1,000 blockages, mostly caused by people’s habits:

  • 40% were caused by unflushables people had flushed down toilets. These are things like wet wipes, cotton buds and period products. They often contain plastic and don’t break apart very easily, so they stick together in the pipes and cause blockages.
  • 13% were caused by fat, oil and grease (FOG) washed down people’s kitchen sinks. After they enter the sewer, FOG can build-up and harden like concrete and cause fatbergs to form, especially when unflushables get stuck in the congealed FOG.

Romsey Advertiser:

Keep your celebrations in full swing

This season, we want you to stuff your stockings not your drains. This holiday season, here’s how you and your guests can help to keep your celebrations and sewers flowing:

  • In the bathroom – You’ve heard of the Three Wise Men, but what about the three Ps? Only flush pee, poo and paper. Everything else goes in the bin – even products labelled ‘flushable’ or ‘bio-degradable’.  
  • In the kitchen – Preparing a turkey dinner with all the trimmings? Dispose of the leftover fat from your roast in the bin – never down the sink. Scrape your plates before you wash up, and collect cooled FOG from cooking in a used jar or container and bin it.

If you’re one of our many customers already disposing of household waste in this way, thank you.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to keep it clear, you’ll be doing your bit to prevent blockages and floods too – so everyone can enjoy a silent night.