Running a professional kitchen is hard enough. But when your premises are flooded with sewage or you can’t flush the toilet, the cost can be more than just the plumber’s bill. Your customers may well remember you for the sewage incident and not your menu.
Whether you’re an independent food business, or responsible for the catering of a larger organisation, there are plenty of simple things you can do to help reduce the chances of this happening to you.
Here are five quick tips to think about now:
Alongside good kitchen practice, there’s specialist equipment available that prevents fats, oils and greases reaching your waste pipes.
A grease removal unit (GRU) can be fitted to kitchen appliances such as sinks, combination ovens and dishwashers. They take the fats, oils and greases from your dirty water and automatically put it into a container for you to get rid of. They need to be emptied every day, so this needs to be planned into the daily cleaning routine.
Grease separators are placed in drain pipes, and separate fats, oils and greases from your wastewater. The waste stays in the separator which needs to be checked and cleaned out frequently.
If you're thinking about installing grease management equipment, contact a supplier to get a site survey. This will help you choose the best equipment for your premises. Remember that this equipment, like any other, requires regular maintenance in order to work effectively.
Everyone is responsible for helping prevent blockages caused by fats, oils, greases and food waste. If you run a catering venture, you’ll have more oil and fat than households. Professional kitchens, in particular, are a big cause of blockages in our region. Discharging fats, oils, greases and food waste into sewers is illegal. As a business, you’re responsible for the careful and legal disposal of them to stop them from getting into the sewage system.
To help explain how to manage them we’ve produced three useful publications that are free to download.
It’s illegal to allow anything to get in the drains that could prevent the free flow of wastewater. This booklet is full of tips to make sure you don’t break the law.
Ready for you to print and display in your workplace, this poster tells you the dos and don’ts for managing your kitchen waste. You could put it by the sink in your kitchen.
This booklet tells you more about grease management and the special equipment you can install. It has illustrations showing how effective management helps prevent blockages and explains your legal responsibilities. It also explains how to get your waste oil collected and recycled by an approved contractor.
We work closely with businesses to help them adopt the right ways of working in their kitchens. But the law is very clear — business owners must ensure their kitchen waste doesn’t block or damage our sewers.
It’s a criminal offence under section 111 of The Water Industry Act 1991 to release anything into the public sewers that could interfere with the free flow of wastewater. When the wrong things are in the sewers, there is a real potential for damage to the environment, homes and businesses.
If a water company discovers that the wrong things are going down the drain, they can prosecute the person responsible. If you’re prosecuted you could face an unlimited fine or even imprisonment.
We recommend that you read through the legal acts relating to your business, however here are some of the key things you need to know to make sure you’re on the right side of the law: