The amount of fat that people are throwing down the drain is becoming a serious problem, and plumbers across the country are now warning about the potential consequences it can have. Last year, plumbers dealt with 70,000 blockages in the sewer systems, most of which were created by fat that had been discarded down the sink.
Cooking oil and fat are especially problematic because once they have been tipped down the sink they cool and congeal. This then blocks the sewage from flowing freely, leading to serious problems.
The worst of the problems comes from the resultant flooding which can affect homes and gardens. The expense of having to call out an emergency plumbing service to sort out the blockage as well as dealing with the damage can lead to quite a large repair bill.
Professional plumbers are now warning people not to pour any fat or oil down the sink. Instead, they are advising people to let it cool in a container in the kitchen before discarding it with the rest of the rubbish where it will go to landfill instead of down the drain.
As well as fat and cooking oil, plumbers have also highlighted a few other items that are causing havoc in the sewage system. Sanitary products and nappies are both proving particularly problematic, and plumbers are again advising people to discard of these with their standard rubbish waste rather than flushing them down the toilet.
It’s not only blockages in the sewage systems which are keeping plumbers busy right now: they also have to deal with the serious problem of water leaking from mains pipes. Water companies are desperate to reduce these leakages to save the millions of litres of water that are going to waste and plumbers are being hired to deal with the problem.
This is a serious issue in cities such as Leicester and Peterborough, and plumbers are countering it by removing the oldest cast iron pipes, many of which are more than a century old, and replacing them with new plastic pipes to cut down significantly on leakages.