Monsters from the sewers take to the roads across the east of England

By: Clare Fischer
Date posted: 17 November 2017

A fleet of Anglian Water recycling vans, complete with monstrous graphics that warn of the dangers of flushing wipes and putting fat down the sink have been unveiled today by Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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© Anglian Water

“We’re delighted to see the new FOG monster join the others in action all around the Anglian area showing that what you do in the bathroom or kitchen can help prevent nasty cases of blocked sewers and spills.”

Chris Tuckett,
Director of Programmes for the Marine Conservation Society

The monsters have been created as part of the MCS “unflushables” campaign, with the support of Anglian Water.

Last year, MCS began a campaign to highlight the problems that wet wipes pose, with a series of monsters created by design agency Daughter. They’ve been joined by a new monster in a wider campaign to highlight how fats, oils and grease (FOG) are among a wider range of items that cause blockages and spills.

Chris Tuckett, Director of Programmes for the Marine Conservation Society said: “We’re delighted to see the new FOG monster join the others in action all around the Anglian area showing that what you do in the bathroom or kitchen can help prevent nasty cases of blocked sewers and spills.”

Rachel Wyatt, Marine Conservation Society’s Water Quality Programme Manager added: “We work to keep our coasts and seas clean, and our ‘unflushables’ campaign is designed to make sure that all of us – as customers of water companies like Anglian – play our part in avoiding unnecessary and unpleasant sewage problems.”

Every year, Anglian Water staff have to deal with more than 30,000 blockages a year in the region, around 80% of which are caused by wipes and fats. This adds £15million a year on to customers’ bills.

If fat ends up down the sink it can cause a major headache. It sets hard in the pipe and mixes with other ‘unflushables’ such as baby wipes and cotton buds, causing blockages.

This can not only cause problems at home, but clogged sewer pipes can cause unpleasant smells, flooding of untreated sewage into homes, gardens, streets and even end up in rivers, the sea and on beaches.

Rachel Dyson, Anglian Water’s Keep It Clear Programme Manager said: “Sewer blockages can be a real headache for customers, causing flooding to homes and gardens, even the environment. The vast majority of these blockages can be prevented by making sure you only flush the 3 P’s (Pee, Poo and Paper) and allow cooking fats and oils to cool before putting them in the bin or recycling them rather than pouring them down the sink.”

Actions you can take

  1. Check out water quality before you head to the beach
  2. Visit the Unflushables website
  3. Only flush the 3Ps - meet the unflushables
  4. Make sure popular swimming beaches are protected
  5. Find out about Blueprint for Water

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