A WATER company has warned residents about putting fat and oil in the sink or toilet this Christmas.

Grant Mitchell, sewer blockages lead for Severn Trent, said: “This time of year is a real headache for our sewer teams because lots of festive cooking, all at the same time, means that a lot of extra fat, oil and grease ends up clogging up our sewers, jamming up pumps, and wreaking havoc at our sewage treatment works.

"And on Christmas Day, our teams are out at work, cleaning out blocked sewers to stop our customers from having sewer flooding ruining the big event.

“It’s easy to assume that the warm grease and fat left over from your Christmas 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, especially when it gets mixed up with all of those wipes that really aren’t “flushable.”

"It’s much better to wipe out any greasy pans with a bit of kitchen roll, or pour large amounts of left over cooking grease into a pot or jar with a lid, and put it in the bin.”

“Having blocked toilets or sewage flooding inside your home due to sewers being clogged up is one of the most horrible things that can happen to you, and we don’t want our customers to suffer in this way, particularly at Christmas, as it’s entirely preventable.

“And it’s not necessarily the people who put the wrong things down the sink and 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.

"We’re spending millions of pounds every year sending teams in to sewers with jetting equipment and sometimes even spades to dig out these ‘fatbergs’.

Last year, major traffic delays were caused in Sidbury after engineers had to work to unblock a large 'fatberg' from the pipes underneath the road.

Anyone who has problems with slow drains or a blocked sewer should report it via stwater.co.uk or by calling 0800 783 4444. The company says it will have teams on duty even on Christmas day.