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Nottingham restaurant convicted for blocking sewers with FOG

Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted a third restaurant for blocking the sewers with fat, oil and grease (FOG), which led to sewer blockages and flooding in the local area.

Mr Mohamad Ilyas, trading as Food Express in Mansfield Rd, Nottingham, was ordered to pay a total fine of £8,419 at Nottingham Magistrates Court on 18 January. This included costs and a victim surcharge.

In 2015 and 2016, Severn Trent received multiple customer reports of sewer blockages and flooding in the area. After an extensive investigation, ruling out several other food service establishments, the company traced the source of the problem to FOG discharges from Food Express.

ECAS, Severn Trent's contractors, visited Mr Ilyas in 2017 to explain the problems and the equipment he was required to install prevent FOG discharges.

Severn Trent said: "Unfortunately, this was not done until some considerable time after and we therefore made the difficult decision to prosecute due to the ongoing nature of the problems and the impact on customers."

The magistrates expressed disappointment that the grease trap that is currently installed at Food Express’s premises may still be placing FOG into the sewer and said they saw his actions as deliberate and protracted over time, warning him to rectify this issue without delay.

Grant Mitchell, Severn Trent's sewer blockages lead, said: “The verdict in this case is an important milestone for us, and we really want this to make other companies think about what they are doing with regards to disposing of fats, oils and grease and how it impacts our customers.

"We clear around 45,000 blockages a year and fat contributes to the majority of those, as it binds together all the other things that end up in the sewer rather than the bin and creates huge lumps, known as ‘fatbergs’, which block the sewers.

"This is totally avoidable and in this case, simply installing a suitable grease trap and making sure it’s maintained could have prevented the situation. Legal action is always a last resort for us, but our customers and the environment shouldn’t have to suffer because of the actions of one business not following the rules, and ignoring our advice.”

Click here to read our WWT Explains report on Fats, Oil and Grease Removal

Author: Robin Hackett, editor, WWT
Topic: Sewer Networks
Tags: Severn Trent Water , Fats Oils and Grease , sewer blockages , magistrates

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