Restaurant prosecuted for blocking sewers with FOG
Severn Trent has successfully prosecuted a second restaurant for blocking the sewers with fat, oil and grease (FOG), which led to a nearby watercourse being polluted.
This is only the third time such a case has been brought in the UK.
SCE Catering Limited, trading as Saffron Cottage in Ford, Shrewsbury, was on Wednesday ordered to pay the maximum fine. This was reduced due to their guilty plea, resulting in a total fine of £9,266, including costs, at Telford Magistrates’ Court.
Under section 111 of the Water Industry Act it is an offence to discharge anything into the sewer that may interfere with the free flow. In this case, a huge blockage, made up of fat,
resulted in the sewer overflowing into a local watercourse and causing a pollution.
The subsequent investigation found that Saffron Cottage restaurant was the cause of the blockage with fat used in cooking being put down the drain and into the sewer where it coagulated and caused the blockage.
Severn Trent visited the premises on several occasions, and sent various letters, asking for grease traps to be installed and warning of the consequences, but the owners did not comply.
Chris Giles, Head of Network Operations, 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 50,000 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 which block the sewers. This is totally avoidable and in this case, simply installing a small grease trap could have prevented the situation.
“Legal action is 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.”
Severn Trent successfully prosecuted Cafe Saffron in Codsall near Wolverhampton for a total of £5,495 including costs for blocking sewers with FOG in 2016, while a restaurant in East Grinstead, Sussex, was ordered to pay £2,285 in December 2015 after being taken to court by Southern Water for a blockage that caused flooding.
- Yorkshire Water trials 'Fat Vats' Yorkshire Water is asking residents in Bradford to pour waste cooking oil into ‘Fat Vats' so it can be converted into... Read More >
- Severn Trent scheme encourages water efficient housing development Severn Trent has launched a scheme that helps housing developers save up to 100% on their water and sewerage... Read More >
- Cranfield studies impact of trees on sewer network Scientists at Cranfield University are using the Bluesky National Tree Map to analyse how the proximity of trees can... Read More >
- CENTAUR: Upsizing sewer storage The Water Industry Award-winning CENTAUR offers ‘virtual storage' within sewer networks to cut flood risk and reduce CSO... Read More >
- Innovation Zone: Fighting the FOG Our innovation specials continue with an examination of new measures to improve sewer health by tackling fats, oils and... Read More >
- Top Tips for specifying concrete manholes Stuart Crisp, business development director for the British Precast Drainage Association, gives his top tips for... Read More >
- Hot stuff: making the most of sewer heat Technology now allows heat from sewage to be extracted and utilised. But what is the true potential of the innovation?... Read More >
- Vacuum sewerage networks: solutions for difficult situations When gravity sewers are unsuitable, vacuum sewerage technology can provide the answers - and with multiple added benefits Read More >