John Whittingdale went to look at the results of the trial of new methods to remove Fats, Oils and Grease from the drains and sewers in Baddow Road, Chelmsford.

Anglian Water has been working with the Water Research Council, Chelmsford Borough Council and Environmental Biotech on the national trial to help reverse the tide of a growing nationwide phenomenon, sewers blocked by fat. Since the trial started in Baddow Road, Chelmsford during April last year, there have been no recorded instances of sewage flooding or bad odours and the Borough Council environmental health officers have noticed a significant reduction in vermin in the area.

Keeping this one road free of fat has meant a saving to Anglian water of more than £6,000 a year - the amount it used to cost to keep this road with its 21 restaurants and take-aways - clear of fat and grease.

John Whittingdale said: "Having attended the launch of the trial, I am delighted that it has proved such a success. The lessons learnt if applied across the country could result in the saving of millions of pounds, thus reducing water bills. At the same time, fewer smells and vermin will substantially improve the environment and the quality of life for local communities. Where Chelmsford leads, I hope the rest of the nation will follow".

John Whittingdale is pictured with Aziz Tejpar of Environmental Biotech (kneeling), Paul Gibbs and Gary Collins of Anglian Water ad local residents.