Fish and chip lovers in the North East are being asked to ‘chip in’ and help keep the region’s drains clear this National Fish & Chip day.

Today, Friday June 2, is a day dedicated to celebrating Britain’s favourite take-away and Northumbrian Water has chosen the occasion to highlight the damage that can be caused by pouring cooking oil or fat down sinks and drains.

Around 382 million portions of fish and chips are cooked and served in this country every year and a whole load of fats, oils and grease are used to help make them.

Although the fat, oils and grease may not look harmful when they are being poured down the sink, when they cool they can congeal and harden like a concrete and can restrict the flow of wastewater in your pipes.

This can eventually lead to blockages, sewer flooding and can cause all kinds of expensive-to-fix problems to your plumbing.

Reducing these blockages in fat-filled drains and tackling sewer flooding is one of Northumbrian Water’s top priorities. In 2016 the company spent more than £77,000 clearing over 1,300 blockages from greasy liquids such as cooking oil, butter, meat fats and sauces being poured down sinks or drains.

The majority of homes, fish and chip shops and restaurants in the North East dispose of their waste correctly, however there are still some areas of the region where it is a real problem and the water company is reminding everyone to dispose of kitchen grease the right way.

Northumbrian Water’s ‘Love your drain’ campaign is all about looking after your drain and homeowners enjoying Fish & Chip day can keep their local neighbourhood blockage-free by scraping any grease from pans, plates and roasting trays into a bin before washing up.

If cooking oil remains in liquid form when cool, it can be soaked in kitchen towel or poured into an empty container and put in a bin.

Businesses are advised to arrange for waste fat, oil and grease to be taken away by a waste carrier registered with the Environment Agency. They will provide a Waste Transfer Note with every collection. A search facility to find registered waste carriers and other advice can be found at

You can find more top tips from our Love your drain campaign by visiting and by following Dwaine Pipe on Facebook or Twitter.

Five facts about fish and chips
1) Fish and chips were first served together as a dish around 1860 – although their origin is contested. In London, the Malin family claims to be first, as do the Lee family in Manchester
2) Fish and chips were served in newspaper until the 1980s
3) British consumers eat some 382 million portions of fish and chips every year. That’s six servings for every man, woman and child
4) Annual spend on fish and chips in the UK is in the region of a staggering £1.2 billion
5) There are around 10,500 fish and chips shops in the UK. Ninety years ago there were 35,000.