Water companies join forces to fight the unflushables
Sewer teams from Southern Water, NI Water and United Utilities (UU) met up last week to discuss the best ways to tackle the scourge of the nation's sewers - fat, oil, grease (FOG) and unflushable items like wet wipes, sanitary items and condoms. The Grease Contractors Association also took part in discussions.
Around £90M is spent annually clearing blockages nationwide. However total costs, including damage from pollution and clean-ups is estimated to exceed £200M each year.
Steve Williams, a Southern Water network enforcement protection officer, and who organised the day, said: “It was a really useful day, with discussions around what each company is doing in this area.
“The others were interested in our unified approach in working closely with environmental health officers at local council level, as well as the conversations we’re having at a national level with food chains who, as expected, produce a lot of leftover cooking grease.”
Williams said: “Our work on the commercial side, in particular issuing cautions, cost recovery and prosecutions, was of real interest, and I’m very much looking forward to the reciprocal visits which are in the pipeline. Anything we can do to stop blockages in sewer pipes helps to prevent sewage flooding, so helps to protect customers’ homes and businesses, as well as the environment.”
Gavin McCready, from NI Water, said: “NI Water like other water companies face the daily challenge of maintaining the sewer networks and providing customers with a reliable service. However, we continue to fight against problems including FOG and unflushable items that can cause blockages, pollution, out of sewer flooding and on occasion internal flooding to properties.
“It has been of significant benefit to meet Southern Water and see how they are tackling particular issues and we look forward to building on this approach and continuing to share information.”
- Whirlwind debuts to keep Yorkshire sewers clean Yorkshire Water has been working with Wrexham-based Whirlwind Utilities to clean sewers with a high-pressured mix of air... Read More >
- Welsh Water disappointed over Kinmel Bay sewage spillage prosecution Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is 'disappointed' at having been prosecuted for sewage spillage discharges from bursts in a pipeline... Read More >
- Water companies adopt standards for connecting new builds The UK's water companies have adopted a set of standards to govern the connection of newly-built homes to water and... Read More >
- Getting to Grips with... sewer jetting Jetting is an important tool for clearing sewer blockages, but care must be taken to use the right pressure for the pipe... Read More >
- Fats, oil and grease need clear thinking Latest research from Cranfield has shone a light on the characteristics of of fats, oil and grease (FOG) droplets entering... Read More >
- Getting to Grips with... Ice Pigging An innovative method of cleaning pipes, ice pigging is now being seen as a viable option for wastewater as well as clean... Read More >
- Interview: Professor Dragan Savic, Exeter University "If you can't measure, you can't manage - and the most uncertain element of water management is the demand." Read More >
- Interview: Rachel Dyson, Programme Manager, Anglian Water “We have been quiet as an industry on wet wipes, but now we are being vocal, because of the problems they are causing.” Read More >