Issued By Scottish Water
As Scottish Water writes to 4,000 households and businesses across the north to continue to raise awareness of the problem of fat clogging the sewer system, residents of one Highland village are being praised for their help tackling the issue.
Appeals have been made by Scottish Water over the past year in various communities - including Aviemore, Drumnadrochit, Nairn and Thurso - for people to consider what they pour down plugholes and drains, following a spate of serious sewer blockages caused by fat. Cooking oils and greases can quickly solidify within sewer pipes, leading to spillages and flooding, and hampering the operation of treatment works.
It appears that the advice has been heeded in the Cairngorms community of Nethy Bridge, with a definite improvement being noticed at the treatment works which used to be clogged with a thick layer of white fat, impairing the treatment process and putting the area's renowned environment at risk.
Scottish Water is meantime writing to 4,000 households and businesses at locations in Caithness, Sutherland, Easter Ross, Wester Ross, Lewis, Inverness, Nairnshire, Badenoch & Strathspey and Moray (full details below) where further blockages caused by fat have been discovered. People who already avoid pouring fat down the drainage system are thanked and are urged to spread the message.
Today (21 Apr) Highland councillors joined Scottish Water in praising the response in Nethy Bridge but stressing the need for other communities to do their bit.
Joanna Peebles, Scottish Water's Communities Manager for the Highlands, said: "We're really pleased that people in the Nethy Bridge area appear to be taking on board the advice to place any fats, oils and greases into a sealed container before putting them in the bin, rather than pouring them down the sink. Obviously this is a community that cares about its local environment and we think other communities should follow their lead. To encourage this, we are giving away some stylish 'fat traps' which can be used to turn cooking greases into cakes for garden birds. Just visit our website, www.scottishwater.co.uk, to find out more."
Councillor Stuart Black, who lives in Nethy Bridge, and sits on Highland Council's Transport, Environment and Community Services committee, said: "I am heartened that this excellent initiative by Scottish Water has already had a positive result. However, it is important that people in other communities take a full part in minimising the fat entering the drainage system. I would hope that householders take up the offer of free fat traps, cutting down on the costly maintenance and blockage problems and helping feed the birds into the bargain."
Fat is responsible for over half of all sewer blockages dealt with by Scottish Water, tying up staff and funds that could be deployed in other ways for the benefit of customers. Cleaning up a fat-clogged pumping station for example can cost £20,000.
Disposing of fats, oils and greases down the sewer system is illegal. People can find out more by visiting www.scottishwater.co.uk.