Fat-busting bugs set to work

Fran Winter of Yorkshire Water holds a bottle of fat suspended in water in her left hand and in her right she has a bottle of congealed fat which has been broken down.
Fran Winter of Yorkshire Water holds a bottle of fat suspended in water in her left hand and in her right she has a bottle of congealed fat which has been broken down.

Trillions of fat-busting bugs are being sent down sewers in Tadcaster and nearby Monk Fryston from last Friday in a bid to get rid of fat blockages and prevent pollution.

The environmentally friendly treatment is being targeted at hot-spots, using organically grown bacillus bacteria, which is commonly found in the human gut, to feast on the fat, oils and grease, with the bacteria being mixed with non-chlorinated water before being poured into the sewer.

Patrick Killgallon, pollution manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Having your home filled with waste from your toilet is a very unpleasant experience which no one should ever have to suffer, which is why we work hard to encourage people to think twice before they pour left over fat down the plug hole or flush the odd make-up wipe down the toilet.

“This said, we’ve already carried out dozens of jobs this year to remove blockages in Tadcaster and Monk Fryston, which shows the sheer scale of the issue we all face.

“So, whilst we continue to encourage customers to think before they pour things like fat down their sink, we’re also looking at new and innovative approaches to tackling this age old problem to support current practices such as jetting sewers with a high pressure hose.

“The deployment of fat-busting bugs in our sewer network is an example of this, with these ‘good’ bacteria literally feasting on solidified fat in our sewer.

“And because these bacteria constantly multiply in the right environment, we can leave them to get on with their job in our sewers, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, without the need for regular dosing.”

And he reminded people not to pour fat down drains.