Thames Water highlighted the cause fatbergs in Ealing’s sewers with a 3D-art installation in Southall on Wednesday.

The UK’s largest water company cleared more than 2,000 blockages caused by unflushable items such as wet wipes, sanitary products and cooking oil from Ealing’s sewers in 2018, up from 1,871 the year before.

Thames Water used a specially designed 3D art canvas to show Southall residents what a real fatberg – an amalgamation of unflushable items – looks like in our sewers to raise awareness of damage they are causing in Ealing’s sewage network.

Ealing Times:

Henry Badman, Thames Water public affairs manager, said: “We want to show Ealing residents exactly what can happen when these items are not disposed of properly.

“It may seem convenient to pour oil down the sink or flush a wet wipe down the toilet but it can have real consequences.

“Blockages can be incredibly expensive to clear for people if it happens on their property and can have a devastating impact on the environment.”

Thames Water spends £18 million a year clearing 75,000 blockages from the sewer network in South England.

The vast majority of these (87%) are caused by wet wipes, nappies and sanitary products flushed down the toilet mixing with cooking oils flushed down the sinks.

The combination of these items causes lumps which harden and can build to enormous sizes, completely blocking parts of the sewer system.

Since 2016, Thames Water has removed fatberg-causing material from Ealing’s sewers 5,826 times.

Thames Water marketing manager, Jo Charles, wants to encourage the public to put fatberg-causing materials in the bin instead of flushing them down the sink to prevent further damage to our sewers.

She said: “Our key message is to flush only the 3 Ps: pee, poo and paper.

“Anything else could lead to blockages in our sewer systems.”

Every year around 8,000 Thames Water customers are affected by sewer flooding caused by people putting the wrong things down the drain.

The company is planning to take the 3D fatberg canvas to Swindon, Hounslow and Enfield to continue their awareness-raising mission.

Advice on how to prevent blockages is available here.