Express & Star

Urgent warning issued ahead of Pancake Day as thousands prepare to tuck into the traditional treat

Severn Trent is asking customers to heed its advice to make sure Pancake Day doesn’t fall flat this year.

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Known in the religious calendar as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day is a traditional feasting day ahead of Lent and thousands will be tucking into pancakes tomorrow.

But the water company is offering advice to prevent problems down in the sewers.

It's easy to end up with too much batter, and many will be tempted to throw any remains down the sink.

However, pancake mix falls into the category of FOG (fats, oils, and greases) and if poured down the drain it can cause blockages.

People are being encouraged to bin leftover food waste instead.

Grant Mitchell, sewer blockages lead at Severn Trent, said: “This Pancake Day, we just need people to have a think about what they are putting down their drains and whether it could have an impact on the sewers.

“Many people think pancake batter is harmless, but that and the fats, oils and greases that it all produces can cause massive problems if it’s washed down the drain.

“All of this combined can quickly harden once it reaches the pipes and can attach to other unflushable items, such as wet wipes and sanitary products, creating a blockage or even a fatberg, which is something nobody would wish to experience.”

When cooking in the kitchen, customers are asked to use kitchen roll to soak up grease from plates and pans before washing up, and collect used cooking oil, fat and grease into a container, jar or tin and put it in the bin once cool.

A staggering 34,580 blockages were dealt with by waste teams at the water company last year, which also prevented 12.4 million litres of fats, oils and greases from entering the sewer.

Along with that, every week, around two and a half tons of wipes and other items which shouldn’t be flushed are pulled out of the sewers – about the same weight as a Range Rover.