Businesses in South Molton are being urged to avoid fatbergs and join the South West Water Think Sink campaign.

The company says parts of the South Molton area have a history of sewer blockages and flooding.

This month it is reminding food service establishments of their responsibilities regarding the proper disposal of fat, oil, grease and food waste.

When disposed of via the sink, fat, oil, grease and food waste can build up in pipes. This causes blockages and flooding, as well as attracting vermin such as rats.

South West Water's director of waste water, Andrew Roantree, said: "Every year we deal with around 8,500 blocked sewers across our region, which costs about £4.5million.

"We're doing our bit - and we're seeking to enlist the help of businesses in the communities we serve. Our award-winning Love Your Loo and Think Sink campaigns have been encouraging household customers to play their part for several years.

"Over the next couple of months, specially trained South West Water advisors will be visiting hotels, restaurants, cafes and other food service establishments to provide advice on correct waste disposal and the simple changes they can make to help 'stop the block' in the South Molton area."

In extreme cases, fat and oil can combine with other material to create fatbergs, as seen in Sidmouth when earlier this year workers spent eight weeks braving exceptionally challenging conditions to break up 64 metres of congealed fat, oil and wet wipes.