Severn Trent Water has found Kings Heath sewers are blocked full of fat!
The company was doing some routine inspections in the Kings Heath area, and when the team did a CCTV survey of the sewers on York Road, they discovered that the sewer was blocked full of fat, which if left could have caused sewage to back up into the area.
The company said that in the last year it has been called out to thousands of blockages in the Birmingham area, of which three quarters were caused by people misusing the sewer system. And the problem is getting worse – the number of times Birmingham’s sewers have been blocked has increased by a quarter between November 2013 and March 2014.
James Jesic, waste water manager for Severn Trent said “Having sewage flooding inside your home due to sewers being blocked is one of the most horrible things that can happen to you, and we don’t want our customers to suffer in this way, as it’s entirely preventable. The drains that take waste water away from your home are only a few inches wide and can easily get clogged up with fat and grease.
“It’s easy to assume that the warm grease and fat left over from your dinner would be ok to dump down the sink, as long as you wash it down with a lot of hot soapy water. But the reality is that quite quickly the fat and grease will cool and solidify, building up and blocking the drain or sewer. It’s better to wipe out any greasy pans with a bit of kitchen roll, and then put it in the bin. You can pour large amounts of left over cooking grease into a pot or jar with a lid, or one of the free fat traps that our customers can request from our website at stwater.co.uk/fattrap.”
These sewer blockages, if not identified and cleared can lead to sewers backing up and overflowing into people’s homes and gardens. And it’s not necessarily the people who put the wrong things down the toilet that are affected. The blockage can happen further down the street, so what you do in your home can be causing a problem for your neighbours. Severn Trent Water is spending millions of pounds every year sending teams into sewers with jetting equipment and sometimes even spades to dig out these blockages.
James added: “Many customers may not realise that they are responsible for the waste pipe running away from their home up until it either crosses the property boundary or meets with another waste pipe or sewer. Unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, but avoidable, if you’re careful about what you put down your toilet or your sink. So please use the bin in the kitchen rather than washing fats and oils down the sink.”
Remember, the homeowner is responsible for the waste pipe running away from your house up until it either crosses the property boundary or joins with another waste pipe or sewer. If a problem occurs on this section of pipe, you will need to call a plumber. Severn Trent has a list of approved plumbers on its website at www.stwater.co.uk/watermark.
If you do run into problems, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent Water’s responsibility you can report it at www.stwater.co.uk or by calling 0800 783 4444.