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Keeping UK Drains Flowing Smoothly 

October is not just about falling leaves and cosy sweaters; it’s also the time for Unblocktober! This nationwide campaign encourages residents to take proactive steps in maintaining their drains and reducing blockages. Blocked drains can be a major inconvenience, causing plumbing issues, unpleasant odours, and potential environmental harm. In this blog, we’ll delve into the significance of Unblocktober, and its objectives, and provide practical tips and guides for residents to keep their drains in tip-top condition.



Why Unblocktober Matters 

Unblocktober, launched in 2019, is a crucial initiative to raise awareness about the importance of drain maintenance and reduce the risk of blocked pipes and sewers across the UK. Blocked drains can lead to a host of problems, such as sewage spills, property damage, and costly repairs. Moreover, the environmental impact of blocked drains is substantial, as they can contribute to water pollution and harm wildlife. 

The main objectives of Unblocktober are: 

Preventing Blockages: By educating residents about what should and shouldn’t go down the drain, Unblocktober aims to reduce the number of blockages in the UK’s drainage system. 

Environmental Protection: Keeping drains clear helps safeguard our rivers and seas from pollution, ensuring cleaner water for everyone. 

Cost Savings: By preventing blockages, homeowners can avoid expensive plumbing bills and maintenance costs. 

Practical Tips for Residents 

Now, let’s get down to the practical steps you can take as a resident to participate in Unblocktober and keep your drains flowing smoothly. 

1. Be Mindful of What You Flush or Dispose of 

One of the primary causes of blockages is flushing or disposing of items that should never enter your drains or toilets. Here’s a list of things to avoid flushing: 

  • Wet wipes (even if they’re labelled as “flushable”) 
  • Sanitary products 
  • Cotton balls 
  • Dental floss 
  • Cooking grease and oil 
  • Food scraps 

Instead, dispose of these items in the bin or recycle them where appropriate. 

2. Regularly Clean Your Drains 

Preventative maintenance is key to a smoothly flowing drain system. Consider using drain screens or strainers in your sinks and showers to catch debris and hair. Clean these screens regularly to prevent clogs. 

3. Dispose of Cooking Grease Properly 

Don’t pour cooking grease or oil down the sink. When hot grease cools, it can solidify and block your pipes. Instead, let it cool and then scrape it into a disposable container for proper disposal. 

4. Install a Fat Trap 

For homes with significant cooking, installing a fat trap can be a wise investment. A fat trap captures grease and oil, preventing them from entering your drainage system and causing blockages. 

5. Educate Your Household 

Ensure everyone in your household is aware of Unblocktober and understands what can and cannot be flushed or sent down the drain. Encourage responsible habits among family members to reduce the risk of blockages. 

6. Regularly Inspect Your Drains 

Keep an eye on the condition of your drains. If you notice slow draining or unusual odours, it might be a sign of a blockage. Address issues promptly to prevent them from getting worse. 

7. Consider a Professional Inspection 

It might be worth scheduling a professional drain inspection if you have an older home or persistent drainage problems. A trained plumber can identify and address potential issues before they become major blockages. 

8. Support Local Cleanup Efforts 

Participate in local cleanup events and initiatives that focus on preserving the environment and maintaining the cleanliness of rivers and seas. Your involvement can make a difference in your community.



Unblocktober is a valuable campaign that serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining our drains and protecting the environment. By following these practical tips and guides, residents in homes can actively contribute to Unblocktober’s mission of reducing blockages and safeguarding our waterways. Together, we can ensure that our drains flow smoothly, and our environment remains pristine. So, this October, let’s embrace Unblocktober and make a lasting difference in our homes and communities. 

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