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Stop and Think – Not Down the Sink

29 March 2013 11:29

NI Water is urging its customers to dispose of fat, oil and grease left over from their Easter dinners correctly. Each year, many people still continue to tip fat, oil and grease down the sink which has disastrous effects on our drains.

As fat, oil and grease cools, it solidifies and creates blockages in the sewerage system, which often results in out of sewer flooding. Last year, NI Water dealt with approximately 24,000 sewer blockages last year, of which nearly 30% were caused by FOG. Nearly £1.7 million was spent clearing blocked drains and cleaning up the areas affected.

Des Nevin, NI Water’s Head of Networks Sewerage said:

“Easter is a popular time for friends and families to get together, often to enjoy a roast dinner. While the meal may be planned with meticulous detail, little attention is paid to what we put down the sink. When fat, oil and grease solidifies in the sewers it prevents wastewater flowing through the pipe, and often causes a blockage.

“Fat, oil and grease in its liquid form may not look harmful, but once in the drains, it is. Even when hot water or soap is poured down the sink – the fat, oil and grease will still harden. Detergents and bleach may also appear to work, but this is only temporary. Each year we spend valuable resources fixing avoidable problems.

“When a drain becomes blocked and overflows, the consequences can be devastating. We can all play a part in maintaining the sewerage infrastructure from restaurants, pubs and hotels right through to home owners and industrial outlets.”

One way to dispose of fat, oil and grease is to let it cool and solidify, and then scrape it into the rubbish bin, or alternatively it can be poured into a suitable container and taken to a Council Recycling Centre. Plates, pots, trays and utensils should be scraped and dry wiped before washing.

Additional information on disposing of fat, oil and grease can be found at You can also view first hand the damage FOG can do to a sewer by visiting our Youtube page

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