Sidmouth is no stranger to fatbergs - in 2019 the town made national and international news after a 'monster fatberg' blocked the sewer under the Esplanade.

This Christmas, South West Water is urging East Devon residents not to pour cooking fats, oils and greases down the sink when making festive meals. A medium-sized turkey produces up to three-quarters of a pint of fat, and when this cools it expands and blocks pipes.

If each of the almost one million households served by South West Water across Devon and Cornwall poured their turkey fat down their sinks it would mean the equivalent of over 2,800 bathtubs full of fat entering the sewers, an equivalent of 422,786 litres.

South West Water’s Wastewater Director, Iain Vosper, said: “Don’t let the fat from your festive feast come back and haunt you like a ghost of Christmas past, causing blockages and fatbergs. Think about your sink this Christmas time, and don’t dispose of cooking fats, oils and greases down the drain.

“Tens of thousands of litres of waste fat, cooking oil and grease are poured down sinks in the South West each year along with food waste which can build up in pipes.

“These mix with wrongly flushed items such as wet wipes, hygiene wipes, cleaning wipes, cleansing pads and sanitary products causing blocked sewers which can lead to flooding in your homes and in the environment.

“Every year we deal with around 8,500 blocked sewers across our region, around one every hour, and these can increase the risk of flooding and damage to customers’ homes and properties.

“So don’t let fat spoil the festivities this Christmas and play your part by only flushing the 3Ps – pee, paper and poo – down the loo, and avoid pouring fats, oils and greases down your sink.”