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Oct 02 2011

It’s official! Harrow is a sewer blockage hotspot

Interesting press release from Thames Water at the end of last week about Harrow, along with Leyton and East Harm, being one of London’s hotspots for blocked sewers. Whether this is “new news” or not, isn’t clear, because on October 1st, 2011, Thames Water became responsible for an additional 25,000 miles of sewer, literally overnight, as a result of a Government  law change that saw privately-owned and shared sections of drainage transfer from householders’ ownership to water companies.

Bob Collington, Thames Water’s asset management director, said: “Our sewer network is increasing 60% overnight tonight (midnight, 1 Oct) and the added workload that will bring draws into sharp focus the need to combat what we call ‘sewer abuse’ – putting anything other than human waste and loo roll down drains. That’s why we’ve launched our blockspots campaign targeting the worst areas for sewer abuse in the capital – Leyton, East Ham and Harrow, which are collectively responsible for around 4% of the 55,000 sewer blockages a year we currently have to clear across London and the Thames Valley.

“Food fat is the prime sewer abuse offender, with wet wipes, sanitary products and other non-degradable items following close behind. Fat goes down drains easily when it’s warm, but it cools in the sewers and sets hard forming vile ‘fatbergs’ which other things stick to. Blocked drains are no joke. They can lead to sewage backing up into people’s houses and gardens, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘getting your own back’.

“Sewer flooding is truly miserable and we’re committed to doing everything we can to prevent it. And after tonight’s change takes effect we will have a lot more sewers to keep an eye on, which makes us all the more keen to reiterate our anti-sewer abuse message ‘Bin it – don’t block it’ – particularly to people in Leyton, Harrow and East Ham.

“We are using our blockspots campaign to try out a new way of combating sewer abuse, targeting whole areas rather single streets, and we’ll use the findings to better inform the sewer maintenance work we do across our wider region.”

Thames Water have a microsite dedicated to the new campaign, here. Best to avoid it if you’re eating your lunch whilst reading this.

Source: Thames Water

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