Oil and fat clogging Warwick sewers

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

It seems Warwick Castle – and the rest of the town – has been under threat from a build-up of fat.

It seems Warwick Castle – and the rest of the town – has been under threat from a build-up of fat.

Ten tonnes of grease and silt have just been removed from Warwick’s waste water pipes.

Last week Severn Trent switched off part of the main sewer system below the castle and beneath the River Avon and spent four days on a major clean-up.

Malcolm Smith, customer and community lead for the water company, said: “It would appear Warwick is under constant threat from fat.

“Its castle dates back almost 11 centuries and has survived an attack in 1264, a siege in 1642 and a fire in 1871 . . . who would have thought that fat poured down the drains would have almost been its downfall in 2015?”

Had the tonnes of congealing grease not been scraped from pipes in the south-east corner of the town, the castle, nearby roads, gardens and the river where people hire boats would all have been at risk, said Severn Trent.

Mr Smith explained: “We have been monitoring the sewer system in the town and recently detected a major problem was building up and that we needed to act quickly.”

The pipes cleaned were responsible for transporting waste water beneath the River Avon towards the Longbridge Sewage Works.

Other towns and cities have similar problems because people are constantly pouring oil and fat into domestic drains and flushing baby wipes down toilets.

The week before ‘Operation Warwick’, Severn Trent engineers had been in the St Nicholas Park area tackling pipes there.

Mr Smith said: “Again, the fat clogging the pipes could have caused sewage to flood out into the park and onto the nearby river bank.”

Workers at Severn Trent Water – which serves more than 4.2 million homes and businesses in England and Wales – are now appealing to people to dispose of oil more appropriately.

Mr Smith said: “As part of our strategy to prevent sewer misuse, we will be visiting restaurants and take-aways in Warwick to talk to owners about safe disposal of fat to try to prevent this happening again.

“But there’s a part for our customers in the town to play too. Please put wipes in the bin, not down the toilet, and pour cooking oil and fat into a sealable container when it’s cold and throw that into the bin too.”