Four imaginative ways to keep Britain’s water network flowing

What can be done to tame the fatbergs and keep our sewers working efficiently?

The problem is costing Britain’s water companies millions of pounds each year. Fortunately, there are innovative schemes to try to change things.

Here are a few that we have come across during our research.

1. Turn the fatbergs into a business

Young entrepreneurs from Imperial College have come up with a genius idea. They have created a platform that connects households with oil connection companies, allowing them to properly dispose of waste oil and fat. That will prevent fatbergs in the sewers and increase the recycling of waste cooking oil by converting it to carbon neutral bio-diesel fuel.

2. Recruit young talent

How do you get people to listen to a challenging message? Bring in two young superstars. Young Maddie and Jude were recruited to front South West Water’s #LoveYourLoo campaign, with this video teaching the adults what they can (and can’t) flush down the loo.

3. Use art as an educator

Photograph by Hanneke Wetzer

Taking the 130-tonne ‘Monster of Whitechapel’ fatberg discovered under East London as a starting point, King’s College London staged a three day art-science experiment, 3 Days of Fat. They even created their own ever-expanding fatberg as they took the issue away from the confines of the water sector and considered it as an icon of wider modern society.

4. Put your drains on a diet

Our own Nick How reported on the Irish solution to fatbergs. And it seems a similar idea is being trialled in Scotland. The Fat Free Sewer project will see experts visit every food establishment in St Andrews given advice on how to get rid of fats, oils and grease rather than pouring them down the drain and adding to the fatberg problem.


Find out more about the work we’ve done within the water sector by contacting Richard Bryan on