Food Service Estabishment & Water Company Enforcement
Food Service Establishment and Water Company Enforcement
Goodflo are supporting both UK water companies and the increasing number of food service establishments (FSE) cope with the challenges they face when served with a grease management enforcement notice.
A large number of sewer blockages are the result of congealed fats, oils and grease, discharged in waste water kitchen wash up, that combine with other material flushed into our sewerage system pipework. There has been an increasing number of media stories highlighting the environmental and social impact of the “Fatberg” problem.
Severn Trent Water are one of many UK water companies with active sewer misuse teams.Where sewer misuse has been identified commercial kitchen operators can expect a visit from their water company representative.
Commercial kitchen operators have a duty of care and legal responsibility to act diligently to ensure they do not create or add to the damaging environmental and costly repair and maintenance of our sewer network as a result of their business activity.
Water companies have legal recourse under the Water Industry Act 1991. It states that it is a criminal offence under section 111 to discharge into the public sewers any matter, which may interfere with the free flow of wastewater. In addition, where the water company has incurred costs in dealing with the detrimental effects on the sewers e.g. removing blockages cleaning sewers, investigating and remedying flooding or pollution incidents, it can take legal action to recover these costs. Prosecution can result in substantial fines or even imprisonment.
Owners and managers of commercial kitchens may have been ignoring completely the warnings of frequently blocked drains, foul odours, pest infestation or localised flooding of their own or neighbouring businesses drainage. When an enforcement notice is issued FSE business are often confused about what solutions are appropriate and more often affordable.
Enforcement may not always be sympathetic to the site-specific and business circumstance. A cost effective and preventative solution that could otherwise have been implemented before the enforcement was issued is not always accepted after the enforcement has been issued. The old adage that prevention is better than cure holds good in these circumstances.
It should be noted that your water company has the weight of law to enforce the business owner to take action. Contrary to the actions of some water companies they do not have the authority to mandate the solution.
An increasing environmental awareness, spiraling drainage clearing and maintenance costs, currently absorbed by water companies, and pressure from landlords to ensure FSE act responsibly are all factors in driving up the numbers of wastewater grease management enforcement.