Cranfield University conference focuses on addressing the problems of fats, oils and greases

A specialist conference organised by Cranfield University is being held to educate waste, water, catering, public health and environmental professionals on the effective management and removal of fats, oils and greases (FOGs) in drainage systems - a problem that currently costs over £5 million each year to clear in the Anglian region alone.

Sponsored by Anglian Water and taking place at the Cranfield University campus on 24th March 2010, the conference, entitled 'FOGs build up removal - problems and solutions', is open to all those involved in the legislation and control of fats, oils and greases, and those responsible for the selection and installation or manufacture of treatment and removal equipment. Industry and academic experts from the UK, Ireland and America will be reporting on the technological innovations for managing and removing fats, oils and greases at source, and reducing their environmental impact.

Fats, oils and greases are responsible for 75% of the 200,000 drain blockages throughout the UK every year, while Water UK estimates that about £15 million is spent annually on reactive blockage clearance nationwide, with further costs for clean-up after flooding incidents.

However, it is not hard to understand why this has become a problem as the production of fats, oils and greases for cooking has trebled since the 1960s and hundreds of thousands of litres are used every week; often being disposed of incorrectly and ending up in the public sewers. Disposing of fats, oils and greases correctly or having them collected and recycled in free, regulated schemes will have a significant positive impact on not only the environment but will also help reduce costs and help keep bills low for consumers.

The conference has been created for professionals from a wide range of disciplines including utility managers, regulators, facilities managers, developers and planners, consultants, contractors, researchers and postgraduate students. Speakers include experts from Purdue University and North Carolina State University in the US, Dublin City Council, Water UK and the Environment Agency. In particular, presentations will cover current academic innovations, the impact of legislation and examples of successful applications of new processes and technology.

Michael O'Dwyer from Dublin City Council and Philip Soden from Compliance Consulting will provide an example of how the introduction of a licensing scheme helped to overcome some of the problems caused by fats, oils and greases. The council's Drainage Division now limits the amount of fats, oils and greases discharged into the drainage system by issuing licenses under the Water Pollution Act to Food Service Establishments (FSE) in the city.

These licenses require the individual outlet to limit the amount of fats, oils and greases they can dispose of down the drains. Long established technology such as grease traps, which are already widely used in the industry and developments in bio augmentation, are assisting FSEs in achieving compliance with these limit conditions.

To register for the event or for more information please visit www.cranfield.ac.uk/sas/fogs

For further information please email Cranfield University

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