Fatberg threatens Caister homes and businesses

A fatberg fished out in Lowestoft and Thomas Williams of Caister

A fatberg in a drain in Caister is threatening nearby residents and businesses. - Credit: Anglian Water / Archant

Residents and businesses in Caister are concerned about the risk of flooding because of a fatberg inside a residential drain.

During torrential downpours Tan Lane has been susceptible to flash floods, with one resident claiming floods occur on the street five or six times a year.

Anglian Water have confirmed that there is a deposit of fat and other materials down a drain in Tan Lane - and there are fears that a fatberg could make flooding more likely.

Natasha Dunn, 31, said the water level can get so high "it will make you worry about driving through it".

"When heavy rain comes, the water will just sit there for a while," Miss Dunn said.

"Driving through it is a nightmare.

Tan Lane flooding

In 2021, Tan Lane's highway was underwater during a flash flood. The cause is believed to be a fatberg in the drainpipes. - Credit: Supplied

"Our toilet level rises as well when we get bad rain.

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"It happens five or six times a year and it needs sorting. Houses have been evacuated in the past, especially down the High Street."

Thomas Williams of Caister

Thomas Williams, manager of Williams Garage in Caister, said flood water has made its way to his garage in the past. - Credit: James Weeds

Previously, the floor of Williams Garage on Yarmouth Road was left covered with sewage after a torrential downpour.

Thomas Williams, manager of the garage, said: "You could see the water flowing out of two drains from Yarmouth Road and Tan Lane.

"And it came straight to our garage and the mess it left was atrocious. Every time it comes in it's sewage water.

Flood water up to Williams Garage's window.

In the past, flood water has surrounded Williams Garage in Caister and the manager is concerned it will happen again. - Credit: Supplied

"I'm fed up with the drains round here.

"When it does drain, it’s not clearing properly.

"It's not fair on us, really."

Fatberg are causing floods in homes across London

Fatbergs are usually avoidable - remember to only flush human waste and toilet paper down the loo. - Credit: Archant

Anglian Water said 80pc of sewage blockages are caused by a build up of fats, oils and grease or other unflushable items being wrongly disposed of down the drain or toilet. 

A spokesperson said: "We have an ongoing investigation in Caister to monitor the network and highlight hotspots where blockages have occurred in the past so we can clear them quickly and prevent flooding or pollution to the environment.

"We are working with  Environmental Compliance  and Services to help educate local food service establishments on the importance of keeping the sewers clear by managing fats, oils and grease responsibly.

"But our message to our customers and local businesses alike is that all fats and oils should be binned not washed away, and only the three P's - that's pee, poo and (toilet) paper should be flushed down the loo."

How to prevent the build up of fatbergs

In October 2021, Anglian Water reported that more than 600 tonnes of unflushable material was put down toilets in Norfolk and Waveney over a 12 month period.

This fatberg which was found in Lowestoft is one of the largest Anglian Water have ever seen. Pictur

This fatberg which was found in Lowestoft is one of the largest Anglian Water have ever seen. Picture: ANGLIAN WATER - Credit: Archant

A spokesperson for the company said: "Unfortunately the problem of avoidable blockages is common across our network, with our teams clearing on average one every 15 minutes."

Anglian Water advise people to only flush human waste and loo paper down the toilet, and using proper methods of disposing grease and fat.

For cooking fats, let them cool and scrape them into a disposable container and throw away in the correct bins.

If using wet wipes, either throw them in the bin, use products with the Fine to Flush logo on the labelling or consider a wet wipe alternative, such as wet wipe gels - which moisten regular toilet paper.