Water Quality In Rivers: Government Response To The Committee’s Fourth Report Of Session 2021–22British Water and the Grease Contractors Ass...Water Quality In Rivers: Government Response To The Committee’s Fourth Report Of Session 2021–22
British Water and the Grease Contractors Association (GCA) welcome the government's response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report, published on Monday 16 May 2022, which takes a comprehensive approach to improving water quality in the UK.
We are heartened to see it includes a recommendation that the industry must develop standards for sectors that use FOG routinely and consider whether fat, oils and grease (FOG) should be classed as trade effluent. British Water worked closely with the GCA to provide evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee around the impact of fats, oils and grease on the network and to the wider environment - which fed into the newly published report promising increased government action to tackle the issue.
The government’s response states that "fats, oils and grease should be recycled, or disposed of, in adherence to guidance from the relevant local authority or waste collection company." It is our hope that local authorities, waste collection companies and water companies will work together more collaboratively to ensure grease management remains high on the agenda, and that all food service establishments (FSEs) install effective grease management systems.
We expect the government’s recommendation will lead to much needed legislation to help to tackle FOG at source. Presently there is no legislation requiring the fitting of grease management systems in FSE’s/commercial kitchens and we believe the lack of an absolute obligation, and the absence of a clear definition of ‘effective means,’ has failed to encourage adoption in commercial kitchens.
FOG is a big issue for the sector and one that is only set to get bigger and more expensive. Of the 366,000 sewer blockages that occur in the UK, 70 per cent of them can be attributed to FOG, and the total cost of clearing these blockages costs water companies £90 million. To help tackle this issue, the GCA has produced a Grease Management Equipment Guide for FSE’s.