Keep your drains clear this Christmas

Anglian Water network technician Deon Facey
Anglian Water network technician Deon Facey

A sewer worker from the county is urging customers to take some small steps this Christmas to help avoid a rise in sewer blockages – something which could lead to nasty smells and sewer flooding.

The leftover fat from roasting turkeys and potatoes could see up to 250 tonnes of fat, the equivalent of one million blocks of butter, washed down drains in the Anglian Water region.

Once in the sewers that fat could lead to blocked pipes and put homes and gardens at increased risk of sewer flooding.

Deon Facey, an Anglian Water field technician, said: “Christmas is one of our busiest times of the year.

“A blocked sink or drain is always horrible, but the extra cost and hassle is especially unwelcome during the holidays.

“Yet this is exactly when we see a big rise in the number of blockages caused by fat, oil and grease.

“The result is often bad smells or worse, sewage backing up in homes and gardens.

“It doesn’t make for a very merry Christmas.”

The warm fats, oils and greases from Christmas cooking wash easily down the sink but they quickly cool and harden to the walls of the sewer pipes binding with other items, such as wipes and nappies, wrongly flushed down the toilet causing rock hard blockages.

More than a third of the 17,000 blockages Anglian Water has cleared since April have been caused in this way.

In Northamptonshire Anglian Water has cleared almost 700 blockages already.

Deon added: “Not only is sewer flooding really unpleasant, getting your drains unblocked can also be very expensive.

“Just by letting fat cool and then putting it in the bin, you can really help to reduce blockages.”

Anglian Water is also urging customers and businesses to join its Keep it Clear campaign and help stop blockages all year round.

Customers can order a free sink strainer to stop scraps going down the plughole and find lots of extra tips to avoid sewer problems by visiting

Customers are also reminded to call Anglian Water on 08457 145145 immediately if they do experience any sewer flooding.