Southern Water has urged people to keep waste water pipes across the county clear by not getting rid of fat and grease down drains.

The water firm said that the festive season often sees gruesome “fatbergs” clog up parts of the sewage network as unflushable items find their way down drains and into pipes.

There have been more than 25,000 sewer blockages across Sussex over the past five years - equivalent to almost 15 a day.

Some items found by the company in sewers in recent years include footballs, T-shirts, cutlery and Christmas lights.

The Argus: A fatberg found in a sewer in Horsham High StreetA fatberg found in a sewer in Horsham High Street (Image: Southern Water)

Alex Saunders, head of Southern Water’s wastewater network, said; “No one likes a nasty surprise over the festive season and our sewers are no different.

“This is the time of year when do see an increase in blockages and so many of these can be avoided.

“A blocked sewer can cause flooding to homes and businesses and unclogging them can take a lot of time, effort and disruption for local communities.”

He urged people to only flush the “three p’s” down toilets - pee, paper and poo, and to avoid putting oils, fat and grease down drains to prevent blockages.