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Easter Sunday roast? Stop and think. Don’t pour fats, oils and grease down the sink!

03 April 2021 10:00

 | NI Water News

Another Easter in lockdown is upon us, and we are still at home, cleaning and cooking. Whatever you’re having for Easter Sunday dinner this year, whether you go for traditional lamb or something alternative, NI Water is asking that you don’t pour the remaining Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) down the sink.

Gavin McCready, NI Water’s FOG expert explains, “As fat, oil and grease cools, it solidifies; creating blockages in the sewerage system, which often result in raw sewage flooding gardens and homes.  The effects of this can be devastating for you and your neighbours and costs NI Water thousands of pounds per year to clear the blockages that occur.”

NI Water deals with thousands of sewer blockages, many of which are caused by fats, oils and grease (FOG) being poured down the sink. As our drains and sewers block, FOG, mixed with wipes and other inappropriate items in the sewers such as wipes, can collectively contribute to a massive fatberg in the sewers in the surrounding area; this results in out of sewer flooding, an unpleasant experience for everyone, leading to serious consequences for the environment.

Gavin McCready, NI Water’s FOG expert continues “When fats, oils and grease (FOG) solidifies in the sewers, it prevents wastewater flowing through the pipes and often causes blockages. FOG in its liquid form may not look harmful, but once in the drains, it is. Do not use boiling water to dissolve fat and grease – it makes the fat harden further, instead of dissolving it.

“When a drain becomes blocked and overflows, the consequences can be devastating for the people impacted by the overflow and for the environment.

“The wastewater drain which runs from each house is just 4 inches wide and is only designed for human waste and toilet roll; so nothing else should go down the sink that could create a blockage.

“We can all play a part in maintaining the sewerage infrastructure by stopping to think; fats, oils and grease don’t go down the sink.”

How to dispose of fats, oils and food waste in the home:

  • Let oil cool, bag it and then put it in the bin.
  • Alternatively, pour used oil into a disposable container and take it to your local oil bank.
  • Scrape plates and pots into the bin before washing in the sink
  • Use strainers in the sink plugholes
  • Don’t wash food down the sink. Put it in the bin or food caddy.

In the last ten years, NI Water has spent over £1.5 billion investing in water and wastewater infrastructure but no amount of investment will completely prevent blocked sewers if people continue to put fats, oils and grease down the sink.


Media enquiries to the NI Water Press Office on 028 9035 7695 or via email to

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