Don’t let your Christmas leftovers be a recipe for disaster

Pouring turkey fat and other festive leftovers down the plughole is a recipe for disaster that could make it a costly Christmas for unsuspecting households.

As millions of people prepare to tuck into their Christmas dinner, the Consumer Council for Water is urging everyone to stop and think about what they pour down the sink and not run the risk of a blocked drain or seeing their home flooded with sewage.

Fatty substances put a huge strain on the sewer network and can create giant pipe-blocking ‘fatbergs’ which feast on our festive leftovers, enabling them to grow up to 250 metres long.

Blockages are one of the main reasons the number of properties across England and Wales flooded with sewage increased by almost a third in 2016/17.

Greasy leftovers can also clog up a property’s drains, landing the householder with a callout charge for someone to clear up the mess.

Steve Grebby, CCWater’s sewer expert, said: “We all love a surprise at Christmas but seeing your home flooded with raw sewage isn’t one of them.”

“There are lots of simple ways to safely dispose of leftover fat or grease, including letting these substances cool in a container before scraping them straight into the bin. It might cost you a little more time but it could save you a lot of money.”

Consumers can protect their pipes and drains by keeping a ‘fat trap’ or container in their kitchen to collect leftover fat, gravy and grease before emptying it into the bin.

The water industry currently spends up to £100 million a year clearing blockages caused by inappropriate items being put down the plughole and sink, with customers footing the bill through their sewerage charge

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