Fat, oil and grease can cause serious problems if they are poured down the drain, Southern Water warns.
Southern Water says Storrington wastewater treatment works has one of the region’s worst records for being blocked with cooking fat from local sewers.
Network protection officer Steve Edwards, has visited all 14 of the town’s food outlets to advise staff on how to safely dispose of fats, oil and grease. He will follow up with repeat visits later this year.
“Sewer flooding can be a really upsetting experience for our customers, and particularly so if it happens to a food and catering business,” he said.
“That’s why we’ve kicked off this pilot project in Storrington - which we know is a blockage hotspot - to raise awareness of what should and shouldn’t be put down sinks and toilets.
“Many food and catering businesses also don’t realise that it’s a legal requirement for them to have systems in place to dispose of their fat, oil and grease in a way that doesn’t clog up our sewer system and is also kinder to the environment.
“Fat, oil and grease used for cooking, and all other leftover food in the kitchen, should go in the bin rather than down the kitchen sink, and into drains and sewers.”
The Moon Pub, in the High Street, is one of the first to support the initiative, fitting a grease trap and putting new procedures in place in its kitchens.
Matthew Wells, duty manager at the Moon, said: “We wanted to set a good example and I hope others will now follow our lead.
“Ultimately it’s going to improve the quality of life for everyone in the village and will help protect the environment. We are already seeing the benefits in our own sewers.”
Steve has also put up posters around Storrington, and has addressed the Storrington Business Breakfast Club. He is also working with Environmental Health Officers and Building Inspectors at Horsham District Council to help promote good practice.
A statement from Southern Water said: “Households all across our region have a vital role to play in keeping the sewage system working properly. To support them, our teams are knocking on doors and chatting to householders in 2,000 blockage ‘hotspots’ about how to properly dispose of items in their homes.
“Southern Water is working closely with food and catering businesses in Storrington to help them understand the impact the way they currently dispose of fat, oil and grease has on both the drains and sewers, and the environment.
“The project is one of the first of its kind and is part of Southern Water’s £1.4 million, five-year investment programme to keep sewers running clear in the South East.
“It marks the start of Southern Water’s programme of visits to some of the 28,000 food outlets and restaurants across Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, between now and 2020.
“To help tackle the problem, Southern Water’s customer team is visiting all food and catering outlets in the town to offer advice, and make sure they have suitable products and processes in place to properly dispose of fats, oil and grease.”
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