London, December 23 (ANI): Gloucestershire County Council is worried that people may block sewers by pouring leftover turkey fat, cooking oil, and grease down the drain after roasting the Christmas dinner.
"The traditional Christmas roast, with all the trimmings, may be one of the highlights of the festive season - but it could also be a hidden cause of flooding," the Telegraph quoted a spokesman for the council as saying.
"It is a little known fact that pouring leftover fat, oil and grease down the drain is a major cause of sewer blockages in the county.
"In an online survey on the Gloucestershire County Council website, over a quarter of people admitted that they disposed of their cooking fat in this damaging way.
"Of those who responded: 79 rinse it down the sink 122 put it in a container and throw it in the bin 40 take it to the household recycling centre 15 pour it on soil in the garden 22 do something else," he added.
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Gloucestershire County Council lead cabinet member for community safety said: "Fat, oil and grease in liquid form may not appear to be a problem but, as it cools, it congeals and hardens. Even if detergent and hot water are used, the fat will solidify on hitting the cold sewer walls and will collect other fat and debris, which eventually blocks the sewer and can cause flooding."
Steve Dawes, Severn Trent Water sewerage manager, urged people to consider ways to prevent such drain blockages.
"You can help keep your drains and the Gloucestershire sewer system free from blockages this Christmas by disposing of your cooking fat, oil and grease responsibly. Having a responsible attitude to waste disposal in the home is very important, particularly when it comes to disposing of fats, oils and greases," he said.
"Many people don't realise the harmful effects of pouring these down the drain, but fats, oils and greases quickly solidify when they hit the cool walls of the sewer and sticks to the side. Over time this builds up; preventing the normal flow of waste water and debris from passing through. With no way through, the wastewater backs up in the system, coming out of drains, sewers and potentially your home.
"No one wants to suffer the consequences of raw sewage flooding their gardens, driveways or worst still, inside their homes.
"The only way to rid the sewers of these fat blockages is to use a high-pressure jet to loosen the fat and wash it away - none of which is a pleasant job. Much of this jetting work could easily be avoided if people didn't regard their kitchen sink as an extension of the dustbin," he added.
The newspaper report reveals that Severn Trent workers had to tackle over 20,000 blocked sewers last year.
A quarter of those incidents were caused by a build-up of fat and grease, the report added. (ANI)