Christmas is traditionally the time of year when we are encouraged to wish “goodwill to all men”. But, unfortunately, it would seem this generosity does not stretch to kitchen sinks and our sewerage system.
Every December householders are urged not to dispose of the leftover fat from their Christmas dinner by pouring it down the kitchen plughole, but each year millions fail to heed this message.
While people pouring fat, oil and grease down the plughole is a problem all year round, at Christmas the challenge for water companies is multiplied. Surveys shows that 25% more waste fat is poured into the nation’s sewers at Christmas than at any other time of the year, as millions of us enjoy a roast turkey or a goose on the big day.
It has been calculated that Britons will pour an incredible 15 million cups of roast turkey fat down the kitchen sink on December 25th – that’s enough to nearly fill an Olympic swimming pool.
The problem has led to water companies and local authorities trying innovative ways to raise awareness about the problem that leads to thousands of blockages in drains and sewers, and add millions of pounds to our water bills.
Thames Water, for example, has brought together some of its workers to form a group called the Singing Sewermen, who have come up with their own version of Good King Wenceslas.
Yorkshire Water has also made a play on a traditional festive rhyme by declaring: “Christmas is coming. The drains are getting fat.”
Over at Northern Ireland Water, the company has been publicising the term “Turkeyberg” – a reference to the giant so-called fatbergs that block sewers and cost millions to deal with. It’s almost enough to put you off your Christmas dinner altogether.
With all this publicity, it can only be hoped that more people will dispose of their turkey fat in a responsible way this Christmas. We’ve listed the best way of disposing of grease and meat fat here.
But just in case you should forget and find your drains and sink are clogged, it might be wise to put a bottle of Buster’s Kitchen Plughole Unblocker on your Christmas wish list.