FOG blockage lands Stockport firm in court
Edible oil refiner Jarmac has been fined more than £14,000 for pouring away fats that blocked a United Utilities (UU) sewer and caused flooding in Stockport. UU prosecuted after its staff carried out investigations near Jarmac's base on Lancashire Hill, in Stockport.
Jarmac, which refines oils for the soap and leather industry, pleaded guilty at Stockport Magistrates Court on October 10, 2014 to a breach of the Water Industry Act 1991. It was ordered to pay a total of £14,293, including a fine of £1,000, costs of £13,193 and a victim surcharge of £100.
In December 2012, Jarmac had an uncontrolled release of pork rind fat into the sewer that caused a sewer blockage.The court heard how the blockage was only discovered after fat and sewage came up through the pavement into Gordon Street, Stockport.
After investigations, UU had to construct a new manhole in order to access the sewer and it took more than two months to clean out the fat and return the sewer into service.
In mitigation Jarmac said it was proactive in cleaning up the pollution on the road. It later sealed up the drain that carried the waste into the sewer network, and it believed the blockage was caused by a partial collapse of the sewer.
Speaking after the hearing, Craig Waddell, UU wastewater area business manager, said: “We strive to deliver an effective wastewater service for all of our customers. So where individuals or companies cause us operational issues we take it very seriously.
“It takes a great deal of time and customers’ money to remove fats and grease from the sewers. In this case the situation was so serious it caused a major blockage and flooding which was very unpleasant for the public.”
Waddell added: “Taking customers to court is a last resort as we try to work with traders to prevent breaches occurring in the first place. However, where we experience operational problems that can affect other customers we sometimes have to step in to protect them, our assets and the environment.”
- Getting tough on FOG key to reducing sewer blockages Getting tough on the fats, oil and grease (FOG) released from restaurants and takeaways can make all the difference in... Read More >
- Restaurant fined for FOG in sewers Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted a restaurant for blocking sewers with fat, oil and grease, in a case that was the... Read More >
- Castleford firm fined £9K for unauthorised water discharge A Castleford engineering company has been fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £2,415.03 in costs over a pollution incident... Read More >
- Capital's infrastructure needs integrated water approach The concerns of Londoners about the capital city's resilience highlight the need for integrated planning across water,... Read More >
- Ready for anything: Resilience in the Round Resilience is one of the four priorities that Ofwat wants to see water companies adopt in their plans for PR19. But what... Read More >
- Mind the step: manholes, steps and ladders Manhole steps, ladders and associated access systems perform a safety critical function. Here, Chris Cawte, managing... Read More >
- Deragger proves benefits in wide-ranging trial An innovative device which keeps sewage pumps free of rag has been shown in an independent trial to save energy as well as... Read More >
- Interview: Ofwat director Trevor Bishop Ofwat director Trevor Bishop explains why the regulator wants to ensure wastewater resilience becomes just as central to... Read More >