FAMILIES are being advised that their turkey could come back to haunt them this Christmas.

Households will pour around a quarter of a million pints of turkey fat down their drains over the festive season leading to blocked pipes and big bills.

During the festive period, United Utilities said 25 per cent more fat — about 500 tonnes — goes down drains than at any other time.

They advise that cooks should pour fat into a container and then discard it in a bin when cool.

Engineers had to deal with an increase in sewer blockages, many caused by grease, fat or oil solidifying in the pipes.

Detergents that claim to dissolve grease may pass it down the pipe but it can still settle out elsewhere in the sewer network.

The water and wastewater utility spends around £13m to unblock items from the public sewers.

Tony Griffiths, from United Utilities said: "Fat and grease cause more than half the sewer blockages we deal with every year. At Christmas, the volume of cooking fat entering the sewers goes up dramatically.”