This October sees the third year anniversary of Unblocktober, which aims to raise awareness for improving the health of our drains, sewers, and seas.

It aims to spread ideas that will only make small changes to your habits but make a big difference to the environment.

Rachael Followell-Mattin, customer and stakeholder manager at Thames Water has been supporting Unblocktober since it first began in 2019.

Rachael Followell-Mattin has been working for Thames Water 25 years.

 She has been trying to save the drains for over 20 years. She said: “It’s all about what you can do not what you can’t.

“When flushing something down the toilet always think about the 3 Ps – Pee, Poo, and toilet Paper.

“Those are the only things you should be flushing down the toilet.”

Rachael also described the benefits that this would have for the environment. She said: “If we are able to stop these blockages and send our waste to the right place then our sewage system can work renewably.”

48% of people flush things down the loo or sink that they shouldn’t, and these are creating monsters known as ‘fatbergs’.

The largest reported fatberg measured 250 m long and weighed an estimated 130,000 Kg

These fatbergs are created when you flush wet wipes down the toilet and when you wash fat, oil and grease down your sink. They all congeal together and gradually form a hard mass.

Meals can often leave excess fat, oil and grease, so rather than pouring them down the drain here are some good ways of dealing with it that you or your family can do:

Let the oil and grease cool in the pan and then transfer it into a jar; usually jam jars are best. If you then wait for a few weeks, you can put it into the general waste.

Rachael described another fun way to deal with it:

“You can feed it to birds. If you let the fat harden and then add seeds and roll them into balls, the birds will love it.

“It’s a perfect way to use the fat that helps the environment.”

Connie Phillips, 14, was really impressed with what Unblocktober has done and said her attitude towards food waste had changed because of the organisation.

She said: “Unblocktober looks to be raising awareness for these issues.

“I didn’t realise that cooking sauces or any food crumbs could pollute the sea and harm the planet. It’s really important to change.”

If you want to support or find out more about Unblocktober, click here.