Skip to main content

Sewers: Fats

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if his Department will introduce measures to require commercial hot food premises to have a grease control system to prevent the entry of fats, oils and greases into the sewerage system; (259319)

(2) what steps his Department and its associated public bodies are taking to prevent the discharge of fats, oils and greases into the sewerage system from commercial hot food premises; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of local voluntary schemes for installing control measures in commercial hot food premises as a means of preventing the discharge of fats, oils and greases into the sewerage system.

I have been asked to reply.

There is a general requirement in building regulations, and more generally other public health legislation, that drains should be constructed in such a way as to minimise the risk of blockage. Grease from hot food premises is acknowledged as a significant cause of drain blockages. Drainage is dealt with in part H of the Building Regulations and when the guidance was comprehensively revised in 2002 additional guidance was added about the provision of grease control measures to hot food premises. Where drains malfunction, building legislation provides local authorise with enforcement powers to ensure that the problem is remedied.

In order to test the effectiveness of the above measure my department was party to a joint research project with the water industry. The outcome of this research has enabled water companies and local authorities to be more confident in their enforcement measures and has enabled some pilot projects to deal with some particularly troublesome cases and bring them to a satisfactory conclusion.