Unblocktober is a month-long campaign that happens every October, highlighting the long-term effects our bad habits can have when it comes to our drains and sewers. What we choose to put into our drains has a significant impact on our wider ecosystem, waterways and seas. Often we don’t think about where everything goes after it’s been flushed or washed down the drain, but disposing of non-biodegradable waste in our sewers can lead to devastating effects on our rivers and seas.
Wave has proudly supported Unblocktober for the last few years, and we’re continuing our support this year.
How can your business help?
Fatbergs may be the last thing on business owners’ minds, but they’re everyone’s problem. In the past, fatbergs larger than the Leaning Tower of Pisa have been discovered under our streets, blocking the whole sewer. Removing them is a specialist job and can sometimes take weeks, and require road closures. This could result in limited access to your business premises and interruption to regular working hours, due to pavements and roads being opened up to clear the blockage. It could even mean a loss of water supply, which could mean temporary business closure.
So what can you do to prevent fatbergs?
Encourage awareness of the problem
The biggest reason for fatbergs is a lack of awareness. This has changed for the better over the years, but more can still be done to make people aware of the dangers of their bad habits both at work and at home.
Think twice before you flush
Only certain things should go down our toilets. Wipes, condoms and sanitary products should always be put in the bin, even if they claim to be biodegradable or flushable. This is because they could contain hidden plastics that cause blockages. Remember only the 3 Ps (pee, poo and paper) should be flushed down the toilet.
Protect our drains
Fats, oils and greases (FOGs), food and items containing plastics all cause blockages and shouldn’t be in our sewers. If your business uses FOGs, make sure you’re disposing of them properly so our drains remain healthy, reducing the chance of blockages that could potentially lead to bigger problems down the line. Do your bit at home too - if you’re cooking with FOGs, wipe it up with a paper towel and throw it in the bin afterwards.
Invest in specialist equipment
Restaurants, takeaways and catering companies could benefit from equipment that prevents FOGs from reaching the sewers. Consider investing in grease management equipment that will keep our waterways healthy.
Changing our habits
Fatbergs are not only bad for our sewers and water supply - they require money and time to clear and can cause disruptions to sites or working hours. We need to act quickly to try to change our bad habits and reverse the impact our actions have had on the environment. Although Unblocktober is a month-long campaign, it’s vital we continue to do more throughout the year, so we can slow down or potentially reverse the damage. Let’s all support Unblocktober together so we can keep our water safe and clean.