Scottish Water is encouraging customers to keep the water cycle going by disposing of cooking fats, oils and grease responsibly during the festive season and beyond.
As people across Scotland prepare for Christmas and New Year dinners and festive fry-ups, cooking fats, oils and grease poured down the sink or drain can build up and cause blockages, more commonly known as ‘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.
Chris Wallace, Scottish Water’s director of communications, 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.”
Fats, oil and grease in liquid form may not appear to be harmful but as it cools it congeals and hardens. This can then cause blockages to the inner lining of drainage pipes, which can lead to waste water flooding into gardens and properties, causing a health hazard to wildlife and the local environment. In extreme cases, blocked sewers can spill into burns, rivers, streams, coastal waters and beaches, causing environmental damage.