Are you supporting Unblocktober?

New month-long campaign aims to stop people putting unsuitable items down the drain.

October may be known for Halloween, but did you know that it’s also the month of Unblocktober? The newly launched campaign is all about saving our sewers – and environment – by stopping people flushing and pouring away things that block up drains and pollute rivers and watercourses.

The actions drainage specialists and campaign organisers Lanes Group are urging people to take are straightforward. In October don’t pour into your drains or flush away:

  • cooking oil or fat
  • food – even crumbs
  • wet wipes
  • anything containing plastic or hidden plastic

Fatbergs and pollution

You may have seen images of fatbergs – the huge, congealed masses of oil, grease and food responsible for blocking sewers and causing flooding and pollution. It’s estimated that around 3,000 UK homes are flooded every year because blockages caused by fats, oil and grease.

But they’re just one of the problems caused by people flushing and pouring away things they shouldn’t. Another major issue is plastics, which when not disposed of properly can damage plants and wildlife and even human health.

Cost of fixing drains

Disposing of waste properly isn’t just an issue for the natural environment. It can also damage your home.

According to Lanes Group, a typical domestic blockage clearance can start at £55 + VAT per hour for drain rodding, and up to £120 + VAT per hour for drain jetting with CCTV check to ensure that the blockage is cleared and the drain is free flowing.

How to treat your drains properly

A lot of us are guilty of disposing of waste incorrectly. For example, according to figures gathered by Lanes Group, 48% of Brits pour fats, oils and grease down the drain – the same percentage that have flushed wet wipes, the cause of 300,000 blockages a year.

Disposing of oil, fat, food and plastic properly and not flushing them away can help solve the problem.

“It’s so simple, but so effective,” says Michelle Ringland of Lanes Group.

“If we can join together as a nation this October and make the same commitment, the improvements to the health of the environment we live in will be huge. And even more effective if we can continue these habits beyond October.”