THAMES Water engineers clear at least one major blockage from Newbury’s sewers every fortnight, leading the area to be labelled a “fatberg hotspot”.
Formed when leftover cooking fat and wet wipes congeal into a solid mass in sewers, fatbergs block pipes and can cause sewage to back up into homes, businesses and public spaces,
In an effort to reduce the number of fatbergs forming in the town’s sewers, Thames Water has launched a new awareness campaign to help those putting fat down the drain, and wipes down the toilet, to understand the impact of their behaviour and change their ways.
In the last three years, seven properties in Newbury have been flooded with sewage as a result of fat and wipe blockages.
Thames Water’s head of sewer networks, Matt Rimmer, said: “Often people don’t realise the consequences of putting things other than human waste and toilet paper down their toilets and drains, but it’s time for everyone to understand and take action.
“It’s not just fat that’s the problem, but wipes, often labelled ‘flushable’, are a massive issue too.”
The ‘Bin it – don’t block it’ campaign will see posters and card drops targeting Newbury residents to highlight the impact fatbergs can have.
Newbury MP Richard Benyon has also pledged his support, saying: “It’s a concern that Newbury has emerged as a hotspot for these disgusting fatbergs. I’m pleased to see Thames Water is working pro-actively to prevent sewer abuse in our town through their ‘Bin it – don’t block it’ campaign.”