Caister drain fats not substantial risk say water company

Tan Lane flooding in 2021

Tan Lane suffered a flash flood in 2021. Anglian Water said the primary cause was there was too much water for the drains to handle quickly. - Credit: Supplied

Anglian Water have said deposits of fat in drains do not pose a substantial flooding risk in Caister.

The water firm made its comments after parish councillors, residents and businesses in Caister had raised concerns over flooding issues in Tan Lane.

Tan Lane flooding

In 2021, Tan Lane's highway was underwater during a flash flood. - Credit: Supplied

Anglian Water said the area's previous cases of heavy flooding were caused by excess surface water after heavy downpours.

However, the water firm accepted there have been issues in the past with sewer blockages caused by the disposal of fats, oils and grease down the drain.

This issue is not uncommon for Anglian Water and they said they clear around 40,000 blockage a year - approximately one every 15 minutes.

Blockages like this can reduce the capacity of the sewer and its ability to help take rainwater away.

Drains on Yarmouth Road, Caister

The drains on Yarmouth Road and Tan Lane in Caister have previously been unable to withstand heavy downpours. - Credit: James Weeds

As part of the wider investigations into the surface water flooding, Anglian Water said they will be checking sewers to make sure they are operating as required.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Flooding on Tan Lane in Caister is caused by surface water -  when it rains heavily it simply can’t drain away fast enough, like a plughole in a bath.

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“Historically, we have also had problems with sewer blockages in this area, caused by fats, oils and grease, or other unflushable items being wrongly disposed of down the drain or toilet.

"Blockages can reduce the capacity of the sewer and its ability to take away excess rainwater. As part of the wider investigations into the surface water flooding, we are checking our sewers to make sure they are operating as they should.

“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."

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.

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