More than 600 homes in the Twickenham postcode area have been flooded in the past five years due to fatbergs, Thames Water has revealed.

The figures have been released ahead of a campaign with the slogan "Cooking fat clogs pipes. Bin it, don't block it", after the water company announced it spends £1m a month clearing blockages.

In the Richmond borough alone, 295 homes have flooded because of fatbergs, which are caused by congealed lumps of leftover cooking fat and wet wipes, making sewers overflow into gardens and homes.

More than 5,000 fatbergs have been cleared from sewers in the Richmond borough alone in the past five years, ranking it among the highest areas in the country for blockages.

The figure puts the borough just behind the entire county of Oxfordshire, which had 7,000 blockages in the same period.

Another 20,000 blockages in other areas of the Twickenham postcode were also reported in the past five years.

Trevor Hennessey, sewer operations manager for west London, said: "The sewers are not an abyss for household rubbish. They were only designed to carry water, toilet tissue and human waste. Anything else will block them.

"Cleaning pots and pans with washing up liquid simply does not breakdown cooking fat and oil for good.

"It goes down the drain easily enough, but when it hits the cold sewers, it hardens into disgusting fatbergs that cling to wet wipes and cause blockages in pipes."

Thames Water says it spends £12m a year clearing blockages from its 108,000km of sewers, and to prevent the problem from getting worse, has written to customers in the worst affected streets and provided them with free 'fat traps'.

The company is also offering to pay the travel costs of 100 primary schools across west London for pupils to visit the sewage works in Slough and Rickmansworth to learn about the water cycle and protecting the sewer system.

TW2 6 postcode
Blockages in 2013-14: 126
Blockages in the past five years: 648

TW2 7 postcode
Blockages in 2013-14: 116
Blockages in the past five years: 661

TW postcode area
Blockages in 2013-14: 4,147
Blockages in the past five years: 25,666
Floodings caused by fatbergs in the past five years: 645