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Blocked Drains, FOG and the Law

19th July 2018

Blocked Drains, FOG and the Law

A lot of effort goes into running a commercial kitchen efficiently and successfully, whether that be at a busy restaurant, a cafe, pub or bistro, or when it comes to feeding workers, customer or students at hospitals, office building or school. Hygiene and health and safety are top of the list for every one of those kitchens and we've written before about how Grease Traps can help you with this and with preventing blocked drains, but today we want to write a bit about the law.


There are quite a few laws that relate to your drains and what goes into them. FOG stands for Fat, Oil and Grease and none of these should be flushed down sinks or drains, for reasons of keeping your drains free flowing and working well, but also because of a number of legal reasons, too!


UK Water Industry Act 1991

The relevant section is S111(1) which states “… no person shall throw or empty any matter likely to injure the sewer or drain, to interfere with the free flow of its contents.

The term 'any matter' clearly does not just relate to FOG. Crucially this act enables water companies to press for compensation from a company who has allowed grease to enter the drains, providing they can trace it back. It is also possible to receive fines and even imprisonment.


Building Regulations. Part H (Drainage and Waste Disposal) 2002

Within this act it categorically states that: "Drainage serving kitchens in commercial hot food premises should be fitted with a grease separator". This means that any newly built commercial kitchens absolutely must include a grease trap as part of their build. We've helped a number of new properties with the installation of grease traps in our area.


Environmental Protection Act 1990

A duty of care is placed on a company to dispose of waste carefully, which of course  includes Fat, Oils and Grease. You must keep good records of your FOG maintenance and ensure that liquid waste is disposed of at a licenced disposal site. Whatever work is deemed to be required can be carried out on your behalf by your local authority, but the costs will be recovered from you. Furthermore a failure to produce the records of lawful liquid waste management can lead to fines or prosecution. Related to this Act are Statutory Nuisances, as below.


Statutory Nuisance

These include, but are not limited to, smells, effluents, insect infestations or a build up of rubbish. If identified, a local authority can serve an abatement notice, for which a failure to comply can lead to our old friend fines and the cost of works undertaken to rectify the problem.


EC Animal By-Products Regulations 

This mirrors other Acts mentioned in that it relates to the law that waste cooking oil must be collected and disposed off by a licensed carrier in an appropriate location.


Food Safety Act 1990 

A local authority is so authorised to inspect premises under this act, and if problems are identified, including with FOG management then fines can result, along with instructions to become more compliant with the law. This can shut down trading for a time while arrangements are made.


The takeaway from all of these regulations is that in order to remain compliant and on the right side of the law best practise means installing and maintaining grease traps correctly. This is common sense really, as grease in your drains can quickly lead to a blockage that can easily grow. We know from the monstrous Fatbergs that have been documented recently that this is a problem that we all need to combat. Metro Rod Oxford & West Buckinghamshire is ready to assist you in any way you need. If you want to know how we can help with grease traps, blocked drains, CCTV surveys and much more, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you require the services of Metro Rod you can get in touch with us in a variety of ways;

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Talk to your local Metro Rod specialist

We are always happy to arrange a free site assessment and no obligation quotations for any work you might need. Alternatively, you can call our emergency hotline number on 0800 66 88 00

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