BRITS have been issued an urgent Christmas warning when they are in the kitchen today.

South West Water is reminding customers to help avoid a foul festive season and fight off fatbergs by not putting cooking fats, oils and grease down the sink.

The water company said a single medium-sized turkey produces up to three-quarters of a pint of fat which, if poured down pipes, could potentially block them when it cools.

With almost one million households served by South West Water across Devon and Cornwall, if each one poured their turkey fat down their sinks it would mean 422,786 litres.

This is the equivalent of more than 2,800 full bathtubs entering the sewers.

Guy Doble, South West Water's director of wastewater recovery, treatment and networks, said: "Don't let the fat from your festive feast ruin your Christmas by causing blockages and fatbergs.

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"Think about your sink over the seasonal period, and at all times, 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.

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"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."

South West Water serves around two million customers across the South West and in its region alone more than 200,000 wet wipes find their way into the sewage network each day.

Each year the water company removes around 450 tonnes of "unflushables" such as wet wipes, sanitary products and cotton pads from pumping stations, the equivalent of 73 million wet wipes.

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