Campaign launched in Grantham to tackle growing problem of giant ‘fatbergs’

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Letters have been sent out to households in Grantham this week as part of an Anglian Water campaign to reduce sewer blockages in the town.

Grantham is being targeted as part of the organisation’s ‘Keep it Clear’ campaign to tackle the thousands of sewer blockages and flooding caused by people putting the wrong things down sinks and toilets.

More than half the blockages across the country are caused by people not disposing of wipes and cooking fats properly. Now Anglian Water is urging locals to take action to reduce the number.

Emma Staples, from Anglian Water, said: “By not putting things like food, fats and wipes down our sinks and loos, we can all help avoid blocked pipes, and the sewer flooding, inconvenience pollution and bad smells that result. Clearing sewer blockages costs a huge amount of time and money, which could be better spent on improving the services we provide to customers.”

Fats quickly cool and solidify once down the drain, blocking the pipes. When this combines with wipes and other sanitary items wrongly placed in the sewer, they form giant ‘fatbergs’ and blockages that are difficult to shift and can cause sewage to back up and overflow, flooding homes and gardens.

Even the products marked ‘flushable’ do not break down in the sewer in the same way as toilet paper and can cause blockages. With one in every two adults in the UK purchasing some kind of wipe, this along with fats and greases is a rapidly growing problem.

In Grantham, wipes and sanitary products should be put in the black wheeled bin along with food waste. Used cooking oil should be recycled where possible. Solid fat and small quantities soaked up in kitchen towel or newspaper can also be placed in the black wheeled bin.

On Friday, representatives will be at Grantham College with a striking 3D street art display to remind students of the mess wipes, cooking fats and other unflushable items, make of the town’s vital sewer network.

Emma said: “The Keep It Clear campaign is about getting everyone to understand the responsibility we all share to keep the sewers flowing and protect ourselves and our neighbours from the misery and inconvenience of sewer flooding.

“The street art will is a fun way of showing people what a mess the sewers end up in if fats and wipes are not disposed of properly. And as well as information, tips and freebies to encourage people to adopt good habits to ‘Keep it Clear’, there will also be a competition to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

“Our website, www.keep-it-clear.co.uk, also offers lots of information and tips and people can order free sink strainers to stop food scraps blocking pipes too.”

College student services manager Lucy Foster added: “Grantham College are very much looking forward to hosting Anglian Water this week. We think the initiative is a great one, not only for our residential students but also all our other students who will hopefully can take the message home to their families and spread the word about the ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign. The street art looks a very eye catching idea and we know it will appeal to our students far more than traditional flyers put through doors.”

Over the next year Anglian Water will be working closely with The Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service to raise awareness of blockages and the ‘Keep it Clear’ campaign among communities.

Customers are also reminded to call Anglian Water on 08457 145145 immediately if they think they have a problem with their drains.