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by Press Officer on 13 November, 2013

Pain in the Drain
















Shoppers in Worthing got the fright of their lives when the ground opened up before them to reveal a fat-clogged sewer.

But their fears were allayed when it was revealed that the spectacle was created by an innovative 3D artwork laid out by Southern Water to highlight the Environment Agency’s Flood Push 2013 awareness campaign.

The campaign, which is also supported by West Sussex County Council and Arun District Council, encourages people to find out if they are at risk of flooding and gives them useful information on appropriate steps they can take to protect themselves and their properties.

David Bonner, Solent and South Downs Resilience Team Advisor with the Environment Agency, said: “Floods destroy, so we ask people to be prepared.

“One in six properties are at risk of flooding in the UK and people can check their flood risk online at by entering their postcode.”

Sewer blockages can contribute to flooding so Southern Water asks customers not to pour cooking oil down sinks or flush things like wet wipes down the toilet.

Southern Water Manager Barry Evans said: “Cooking oil and wet wipes contribute to about three quarters of all sewer blockages.

“These can cause toilets, sinks and baths to overflow inside homes, costing families hundreds of pounds to clear and can cause environmental pollutions if sewers flood outside.

“We ask customers to help us by only flushing the three Ps – pee, poo and paper. Everything else should be put in the bin.”

This simple message is the focus of Southern Water’s Pain in the Drain campaign which aims to educate people about the causes of blockages and asks for their help in avoiding them.

Southern Water staff were on hand to give out fat funnels which people can use to transfer used cooking oils into plastic bottles to be put in the bin or taken to the local tip and recycled into biofuel.

Worthing Mayor Bob Smytherman attended the event, in The Montague Centre, Worthing, on November 12, to support the campaign.

He said: “Everyone should use the Environment Agency’s postcode checker to see if they are at risk of flooding and then take steps to protect themselves.

“One thing that will help is to help reduce the number of blockages in the sewer network and Southern Water’s 3D artwork and Pain in the Drain campaign is a great way to communicate this important message.”

For more information on Flood Push 2013, visit:

For more information on Pain in the Drain, visit:

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