Sewers sparkle after fat funnels

Fat funnels and oil on toast were two solutions to blocked drains discussed at a water company visit to a local retirement home.

Staff from Southern Water cleaned the pipes at Five Villages House, Icklesham.

“We had a series of problems with people flushing away things they shouldn’t,” said Barbara Ford, assistant manager at Five Villages.

“So having Southern Water here to help explain the problem and how it can also affect the local treatment works has been really helpful.”

Steve Williams, network protection officer for Souther Water, handed out fat funnels used to transfer cooking oil into bottles and the bin, rather than into the drains. Marion Wilkins, of Icklesham Wastewater Treatment Works, went on to explain the damage fat does to water systems.

Residents saw fat-disposal as a relatively modern problem. Barbara Southerden, 81, explained she was used to spreading excess oil on toast to avoid waste.

“We always bought meat with fat on because that way you’d get good dripping to cook it in.” she said. “And you could spread any left over onto toast. We never threw anything away.

“I do cook with oil sometimes and the fat funnel is very useful.”

Last week’s visit was part of Southern’s Pain in the Drain campaign, which promotes safe ways of getting rid of a host of household products that should not be flushed or poured away.

Steve said: “It was great to be invited to talk to the residents at Five Villages House.They were really switched on.

“The fat funnels proved popular but people can simply use an old jam jar or other container to safely dispose of used oils.”

For information on the campaign visit: