Just days after Thames Water released a comic Christmas jingle featuring their staff dressed in Christmas clothing singing ‘bin it – don’t block it’, to the popular Christmas Carol ‘Deck the Halls with Bows of Holly’, the Thames Water sewer men were reeling, after more than one hundred baby fish were killed when turkey fat was washed down a sewer.

The incident in question happened when wrongly disposed of turkey fat blocked a sewer and polluted a pond. It happened at Britten’s Pond near Jacobs Well in Guildford, Surrey.

Thames Water were called to the incident last Tuesday and managed to clear the offending blockage quite quickly, however the oxygen levels in the pond dropped significantly which killed most of the fish in the pond.
The waste water company’s lab and sampling manager, Mark Handcock, stated:

“Any incident which kills wildlife is always very sad and this is a vivid example of the consequences of sewer abuse – putting anything other than human waste, water and loo roll down drains.

“We always see a dramatic increase in the number of blockages after Christmas because everyone is cooking roast turkeys and pouring the leftover fat down the drain which spills into our cold sewers and forms hideous fatbergs. These block the network and cause sewage to back up into people’s homes and gardens or into rivers and ponds.”

Thames Water have estimated that they will have to attend over 70,000 sewer blockages in 2012, with around 10% of these being internal sewer blockages, which can be prevented if people ‘bin it instead of block it’.

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