Anglian serves up FOG awards

Fourteen restaurants and takeaways in Chelmsford have been presented with Anglian Water's Green Ladle awards after a two-year trial to stop waste fats, oils and grease (FOG) blocking up sewers.

Anglian Water (AW), with the backing of the Environment Agency and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, has worked closely with Chelmsford Borough Council to combat problems in Baddow Road and Moulsham Street, a busy shopping area with a high density of catering establishments.

Since the scheme started in 2007, there have been no instances recorded of sewage flooding, bad odours or blockages in the area. Anglian estimates that three out of four sewerage blockages are due to build up of FOG and tackling sewerage blockages costs the water company £5M a year.

Catering establishments have a legal duty to dispose of waste fats oils and grease properly and the Green Ladle Award scheme advocates close working relationships between councils, AW officials and catering establishments.

Premises causing FOG problems are identified and visited jointly to encourage better kitchen practices such as scraping and wiping plates and collecting waste oil in suitable secure containers ready for free collection by an approved licensed contractor. Restaurant owners receiving Green Ladle awards were presented with certificates and window stickers. Chelmsford Council was also presented with AW's FOG Charter, which recognises commitment to work towards eliminating avoidable FOG problems.

Anglian was a co-sponsor of a WWT Industry Forum on FOG earlier in the year (see WWT, October 2009) and a national campaign to combat sewer clogging through poor waste disposal is now being coordinated through Water UK's Sewer Network Abuse Prevention (SNAP) group. Water UK's Steve Ntifo, who sits on the campaign group, told WWT that the idea was to lobby government for necessary regulatory changes and raise public awareness of the issue.

Paul Gibbs, director of wastewater at Anglian Water, who also took part in the WWT forum said: "The production of cooking oil and fats has trebled since the 1960s. Our sewers need to be prepared for the potential impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather conditions.

"It is therefore essential that the network works as efficiently as possible, and that we do all we can to protect it."

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