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Catchment Management

Christmas is coming. The drains are getting fat.

Clearing up after Christmas dinner is never the most welcome task and it may seem simpler to tip as many of the left-overs as possible down the kitchen sink. Read more to find out how Yorkshire Water can help you avoid these problems in the future.

During a Yorkshire Christmas, tipping excess fats, oils and greases down the drain creates blockages which are a major disruption for both Yorkshire Water and residents right across the region.

The warning comes as the latest figures reveal that over the past eight months alone Yorkshire Water has dealt with over 1,000 blockages in the Barnsley area caused by the wrong things being put into the system.

And across the region each year the company spends millions of pounds removing tens of thousands of blockages from its sewers.

During a Yorkshire Christmas, almost half are caused by fats, oils and greases (FOGs) or nappies, sanitary products, wet wipes and cotton wool buds being put into the network.

There are also a further 3,300 blockages across Yorkshire caused by ‘foreign objects’ and ‘clothes and textiles’.

Now Yorkshire Water is appealing to bag and bin these items rather than flushing them away as it launches its Home Happy winter campaign.

George Kotschy, Yorkshire Water’s spokesperson, said: “Fats, oils and greases aren’t just bad for your arteries, they’re bad for your drains and the sewers serving the community too. They can cause blockages in the sewer network which can lead to flooding of people’s home and pollution of watercourses.

“Our message is very simple. We’re asking people to put their sewer on a low fat diet and think before they dispose of fat, oil and grease down the sink or through the dishwasher. It only takes an extra couple of seconds to dispose of products like fat by putting it in the bin, but it will mean that the millions of pounds we currently spend removing these products from the sewers of Yorkshire can be invested elsewhere improving our network and the service we offer.

“Even if wipes say flushable they don’t break down in your pipes like normal toilet paper and can cause them to become blocked. Please make sure you put wipes, cotton buds, sanitary products, nappies and condoms in bags and in the bin.”

Customers can help by:

- Not flushing anything apart from human waste and toilet paper down the drain

- Scraping and wiping plates and pans before washing up

- Collecting waste oil and fat in an old drinks container

- Having food waste collected for energy

Businesses can fit waste management technology like grease traps and dosing systems.

Yorkshire Water has invested £252 million in our sewer network across Yorkshire over the last five years.

To find out more about our winter Home Happy campaign visit our home happy page. 

Helping protect you from sewer flooding.

It's part of our Blueprint for Yorkshire.

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