Legislation in the Kitchen

For Existing Premises

Water Industry Act 1991, Chapter 56, Part IV, chapter II, Provisions on protecting sewerage system Section 111;

1. Subject to the provisions of Chapter III of this Part, no person shall throw, empty or turn, or
suffer or permit to be thrown or emptied or to pass, into any public sewer, or into any drain or sewer communicating with a public sewer-

(a) any matter likely to injure the sewer or drain, to interfere with the free flow of its contents or to affect prejudicially the treatment and disposal of its contents

For New Premises

New Part H (Drainage and Waste Disposal) 2002, Part H1, Section 2 Foul Drainage
Section 2.21;

"Drainage serving kitchens in commercial hot food premises should be fitted with a grease separator complying with prEN 1825-1 and designed in accordance with prEN 1825-2 or other effective means of grease removal."

This new legislation is generally applied to new builds and refurbishments, although there is pressure to make it mandatory for all existing sites.

Statistical Information: Examples of Fines

February 2007 - School, Gloucestershire - Fines and costs £7,616
January 2007 - Indian Restaurant, Stevenage - Fined £15,000
January 2007 - Pub restaurant, Wiltshire - Fines and costs £34,881
May 2006 - Chinese Restaurant, Cambridgeshire - Fines and costs £15,726

The sewerage system is suffering as the number of takeaways, restaurants, hotels and pubs increases, because more and more fats, oils and grease are tipped away rather than being disposed of properly.

However, as well as the obvious signs to you, such as odour and vermin problems, pouring waste oils away can be damaging for your community and the environment.

When the fats solidify, the sewer network can become blocked. This in turn reduces the system's capacity to function properly and increases the risk of sewer flooding. The disposal of warm fats and vegetable oils in a liquid form (or waste oils) down sinks and drains results in 100,000 blockages in just the Thames Water region each year. The company says every year it flushes 1,000 tonnes of hard, congealed fat through its sewerage system; any one of the 100,000 blockages caused by this clogging can force raw sewage out of a manhole and flooding into homes and gardens.

Such pollution can be devastating for the environment as a small amount can cause a lot of harm to wildlife and water supplies. It also causes great distress for the occupiers of properties flooded with raw sewage.

It is because of this that careless disposal of waste fats/oils into drainage systems, land or watercourses are an offence. Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991 makes it illegal to permit any substance, which may interfere with the free flow of the sewerage system, to pass down any drain or sewer connecting to a public sewer. Blockages can be costly and inconvenient to clear and could lead to substantial fines.

Tighter Consent to Discharge Limits

As you are aware all commercial premises must have a consent to discharge licence which limits the amount of grease/fat etc which can be legally discharged into the sewage system. In this day of increased costs Water Authorities are tightening their consent to discharge limits.

Typical limits are separable oil and grease not to exceed 100mg/l.

Using Hydra Grease-Eater keeps your lines and grease traps clean, helping you meet these tough targets.

What is the EPP2 regulation?

EPP2 is a joint initiative between the environmental agency, DEFRA, the department of Climate Change and the Welsh Assembly government surrounding the discharge and installation of waste in septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants.
The EPP2 applies to all small sewage treatment plants and septic tanks up to a certain discharge capacity.
- Sewage treatment plants only, discharging up to 5m per day or less into surface water (equivalent to a 25 population)
- Septic Tanks/ Sewage Treatment plants discharging up to 2m per day or less than groundwater soak away (equivalent to 12 population)
The aims of the regulation are to safe guard the environment and improve upon environmental monitoring.
Registering for the permit is free and you can visit the environmental agency www.environment-agency.gov.uk to register and find out more information.

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