THEY look and smell as disgusting as they sound. And not only do fatbergs – blockages of fat that build up in our sewers – cause a headache for those who have to unblock them, they’re also known for bringing the city to a standstill.

Few of us can forget the Frideswide fatberg that led to traffic chaos across Oxford in April after the sewer in Park End Street collapsed because of the amount of fat.

But as the authorities do what they can to sort the problem, we have to do our bit too.

It sounds like common sense. Don’t pour fat down the sinks or flush items such as baby wipes down the toilets. Yet with more than 3,000 sewers being blocked across Oxfordshire in recent years it seems the message is not getting through.

Unlike many gripes the public have, we can actually do something about this one.

There may be questions to ask about whether our sewerage network, most of which was built in the 19th century, can cope with the sheer volume of people and the waste generated in the 21st Century.

But we must first do what we can to help with the problem.

Of course, it’s not one that affects our immediate daily life. But when it delays our journey to work, or pushes up the price of water bills, we’ll soon complain.

Like Thames Water, let’s be proactive and do what we can now before it’s too late.