An innovative sewer treatment which uses ‘fat-busting’ bugs began in the sewers of York last week.

The process which will take place at various city hot-spots and will see the bugs attack the build-up of fat, oils and grease and hence restore the drainage to its previous working state.

The bacillus bacteria used is more commonly found in the human gut but is instead being used in high volumes down the sewers to break down the fatty deposits.

The bacteria culture was first used in trials over the Christmas period to cope with the excess fat which gets deposited down the drains at this time of year. But its latest use is the first time Yorkshire Water has launched a sustained attack on the fat in one specific location.

Patrick Killgallon, the pollution manager at Yorkshire Water, revealed that over 1,500 blockages were dealt with by drainage experts over the last eight months and the company was keen to adopt a new approach to drain unblocking. He stated:

“The deployment of fat-busting bugs in our sewer network is an example of this, with these ‘good’ bacteria literally feasting on solidified fat in our sewer. And because these bacteria constantly multiply in the right environment, we can leave them to get on with their job in our sewers, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, without the need for regular dosing.”

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