Southern Water has recently celebrated the first anniversary of its £1.4 million investment in a five-year programme to keep the South East’s sewers running clear of fat, oil and grease (FOG).
As part of this initiative, Southern Water is rolling out a programme to visit many of the 28,000 food outlets and restaurants across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, between now and 2020.
Southern Water’s team of Network Protection Officers have already visited nearly 500 food outlets and restaurants, and provided help and support for businesses to properly dispose of their FOG.
Many food and catering businesses do not realise it is a legal requirement for them to have systems in place to dispose of their FOG in a way that doesn’t clog up our sewer system and is also kinder to the environment.
Tim Bagnall, Southern Water’s Waste Services Manager, said: “Sewer flooding can be a really upsetting experience for our customers, and particularly so if it happens to a food and catering business, as their livelihoods are at risk.
“We discovered a particular ‘hotspot’ in Storrington, West Sussex, and have introduced a pilot scheme – the first of its kind for us – to tackle the issue head-on.
“Our network protection officers are working on a one-to-one basis with 14 local food and catering businesses to advise them on the variety of ways they can comply with legislation, which includes fitting fat and grease traps. This way, they can be confident they are keeping the sewers clear.
“Fat, oil and grease used for cooking, and all other leftover food in the kitchen, should go in the bin rather than down the kitchen sink, and into drains and sewers.”