Western Water is seeing an increase of sewer blockages across our service region due to customers throwing fats down the sink.
Customers are advised that putting the wrong things down the sink or flushing the wrong things down the toilet is bad for the environment and costly to fix.
In 2019, blockages caused by fats increased by almost 50% from the year before
When fats, oils or grease go down the sink they can harden into a fatty lump known as a fatberg. This fatberg stays in the pipeline where it gets bigger over time. Every time more fats or rubbish are thrown down the sink, the bigger the fatberg gets.
Eventually, the fatberg can get so large that it causes the pipe to get blocked, leading to sewer overflows in homes or public areas.
Blocked pipes caused by fats are easy to avoid - customers should never throw fats, oils or grease down the sink. Instead, we advise customers to let them cool and throw them in the bin.
If you’d like to find out more about how to avoid sewer blockages, please visit What not to flush.
The below table shows the number of properties that had a blocked pipe caused by fats. Every incident would have been avoided if the residents threw away fats in the bin, instead of down the sink.