Britons are being urged not to pour their meat fats down the sink today, to avoid blockages in the water system.
South West Water is looking to avoid the build up of so-called fatbergs over the holiday season, which are often caused by people pouring their foul, fowl juices from their festive feasts down the sink while hot, which clogs up the pipes when they cool.
The firm says a medium-sized turkey, which many of us will be tucking into at some point today, can produce up to three quarters of a pint of fat, meaning if every house covered by South West Water poured their fats down the sink, it would be the equivalent of 2,800 full bath tubs entering the sewer system.
Guy Doble, the company’s director of wastewater recovery, treatment and networks, said: “Don’t let the fat from your festive feast ruin your Christmas by causing blockages and fatbergs.
“Tens of thousands of litres of waste fat, cooking oil and grease are poured down sinks in the South West each year, along with food waste, which can build up in pipes.
“These mix with wrongly flushed items such as wet wipes, hygiene wipes, cleaning wipes, cleansing pads and sanitary products, causing blocked sewers which can lead to flooding in your homes and in the environment.
“Every year we deal with around 8,500 blocked sewers across our region – around one every hour – and these can increase the risk of flooding and damage to customers’ homes and properties.
“So don’t let fat spoil the festivities this Christmas and play your part by only flushing the 3Ps – pee, paper and poo – down the loo, and avoid pouring fats, oils and greases down your sink.”
Last year, a fatberg the “weight of a bungalow” was removed from a London sewer underneath Canary Wharf, with the process taking more than two weeks.
A fatberg in Birmingham was also removed, which was said to more than a kilometre in length and 300 tonnes in weight – taking more than a month to clear.
South West Water covers more than two million people across Devon and Cornwall and some 450 tonnes of unflushable material is removed from its system every year – including wet wipes, sanitary products and cotton pads.