How not to let a blocked drain spoil your Christmas Day

Straight down the drain is not a good option for cooking fats
Straight down the drain is not a good option for cooking fats

CHRISTMAS DINNER ENJOYED, family all around and settle down – then it is all spoiled by a blocked drain on Boxing Day.

That is a scenario Scottish Water are hoping to help people avoid as they encourage customers to dispose of cooking oils, fats and grease in a responsible manner this Christmas and beyond.

It is a situation that is all too familiar as drains and sinks become blocked up by careless disposal of fats than lead to ‘fatbergs’ in drains and sewer pipes. These prevent the waste water draining away properly and can cause extremely unpleasant internal sewage flooding or environmental pollution.

It is important that everyone knows their kitchen checklists and disposes of cooking fats, oils and grease responsibly – simply leave to cool, then scrape into a sealable container (like an empty jar) and either recycle or put in the bin.

Leading the campaign is Chris Wallace, Scottish Water’s Director of Communications, who said: “Our campaign is working and has contributed to a sizeable reduction in the number of blocked drains and sewers across Scotland. We thank customers who have responded to our campaign.

“However, this means there are still 35,000 blockages every year, most of which could be avoided if we all followed the advice in Scottish Water’s campaign and knew our kitchen and bathroom checklists. We’ve made great progress, with the help of our customers, but there is still a lot more that can be done to tackle this problem.

“The waste water drain which runs from your house to the public sewer is usually only about four inches wide, which is less than the diameter of a DVD.

“This drain is designed to take only the used water from sinks, showers and baths and pee, poo and toilet paper, the three p’s, from the toilet. Scottish Water believes the best way to tackle blocked drains and sewer flooding is to work with our customers to prevent blockages that can clog up the cycle in the first place.”

Fatty Facts

  • The waste water drain which runs from homes to the public sewer is usually about four inches wide, which is less than the diameter of a DVD.
  • Remember everything you put down your plughole(s), toilet(s) and drains will all ends up in the drains and sewers.
  • Fat blockages cause pollution, flooding, public health hazards and have major clean up costs.
  • Whether it is saturated fat (like lard), mono-unsaturated fat (like olive oil) or vegetable oil, they all congeal and harden.
  • It is an offence under the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968 to interfere with the free flow of the sewers – fats, oils and grease do this when they congeal.
  • It is a specific offence for traders to pass fats, oils and grease to the sewer.