New initiative for fat, grease disposal in UK

An increase in fat build-up in drains and sewers connected to restaurants and homes has led to a new initiative to reduce the damage caused by blockages and overflows. Water UK, the association that represents all the country's water and sewerage companies, is launching a Best Practice Campaign to help catering establishments properly dispose of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG), with the official launch taking place today in the House of Commons. In some parts of the country three out of every...

LONDON, Oct. 31, 2007 -- An increase in fat build-up in drains and sewers connected to restaurants and homes has led to a new initiative to reduce the damage caused by blockages and overflows.

Water UK, the association that represents all the country's water and sewerage companies, is launching a Best Practice Campaign to help catering establishments properly dispose of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG), with the official launch taking place today in the House of Commons.

In some parts of the country three out of every four sewerage blockages occur due to a build up of FOG that have been placed down the sink in catering establishments, such as restaurants, pubs and canteens, as well as homes and industrial outlets.

Approximately £15 million is spent on clearing drain blockages every year. This doesn't include the additional costs for cleaning up the damage caused by blocked drains such as flooding and other spoilage to the premises.

Water UK Chief Executive Pamela Taylor, said: "We need a Best Practice approach for catering outlets to tackle the high levels of sewer blockages. It's well-established that the number of blockages is greater in areas with a high density of catering outlets.

"Correct disposal of FOG saves time and money. Water companies can cut spending on removing blockages and ultimately water customers won't need to foot the bill."

Every outlet disposing of FOG into sinks and drains is at risk of experiencing damaging and costly drainage problems. On behalf of the industry Water UK has produced a booklet, Disposal of fats, oils, grease and food waste: best management practice for catering outlets, to show how the risk can be minimized.

The booklet has been produced in coordination with Defra, the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Consumer Council for Water and Ofwat. Water and sewerage companies are working with their regional environmental health officers to promote best practice amongst catering outlets.

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