One of Britain’s biggest water companies has thanked foodservice operators for doing more to protect its sewers from fatbergs – even though Covid-19 has stopped it from engaging with them as much.
Severn Trent said that more than 2,500 tonnes of fat, oil, and grease have been prevented from going down the drains over the past year as a result of good kitchen practices and the installation of grease trapping equipment.
It typically clears around 45,000 blockages across the region each year, the majority of which are caused by fats and food waste escaping down kitchen plugholes and drains, where it binds together with other items that end up in sewers to create fatbergs.
Severn Trent’s sewer blockages lead, Grant Mitchell, said: “We really feel for the foodservice establishments that have been affected by the pandemic and want to remind our customers that we are here to help.
“We work closely with FSEs across our region to help prevent sewer blockages and fatbergs from happening, by educating kitchen staff and encouraging them to install grease traps in kitchens where appropriate.
“Due to Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown measures we’ve had to scale down some of our engagements with FSEs. However, the food business owners we have been able to work with, have taken steps to improve their grease management practices.”
One local operator that has ramped up its FOG practices is Lovely Pubs, which runs seven pub restaurants in the Midlands.
Severn Trent’s contract partners ECAS visited The Farm in Solihull – and other operators in the area – following a blockage in the nearby Severn Trent wastewater network.
Environmental inspector, Marc Downes, from ECAS, said: “The Farm pub and restaurant already had some grease management practices in place. But, their existing system meant FOG was still getting into the network. They were so keen to fix this, that in just eight working days they’d got plans together to install a new grease removal unit which will now trap their fat at source.
“I was inspired by how seriously they took their responsibility to protect the sewers – on top of managing the fallout from Covid-19.”
Andrew Breen, director at Lovely Pubs, said the business is also working to make sure its other six pubs have optimal grease management measures in place.
“We care deeply about how our seven establishments impact on our local community and the environment. That’s why we welcome advice and support on how we can continually improve.”