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Reminder to Local Businesses to ‘Stop and Think, Not Down the Sink’

09 June 2015 16:22

NI Water is urging local businesses to dispose of fat, oil and grease (FOG) correctly and not to pour it down the sink.  Just recently, NI Water cleared a particularly bad blockage from a sewer in Lisburn City Centre which was caused by a build-up of FOG.

Each year, many businesses still continue to tip fat, oil and grease down the sink, which has disastrous effects on our drains.  A build-up of FOG in a drain can not only cause an unpleasant odour, it can also lead to out of sewer flooding on your premises.

There are many procedures a business can put in place to deal with FOG appropriately. These include,
•    Arrange for oil to be collected by a licensed waste contractor;
•    Install a grease trap which separates the fat from the wastewater;
•    Use enzyme dosing systems with special bacteria to reduce the fat.
The cost of clearing these blockages costs millions every year! Alec McQuillan, NI Water’s Head of Wastewater comments, “FOG in its liquid form may not look harmful, but once in the drains, it is. Even when hot water or soap is poured down the sink – the fat, oil and grease will still harden. Detergents and bleach may also appear to work, but this is only temporary. Each year we spend valuable resources fixing avoidable problems.

“When a drain becomes blocked and overflows, the consequences can be devastating. We can all play a part in maintaining the sewerage infrastructure from restaurants, pubs and hotels right through to home owners and industrial outlets.

“Businesses should also be aware that there are legal requirements in place to prevent fat, oil and grease entering drains and sewers. Failure to adhere to these can lead to enforcement and prosecution.”

NI Water has produced a funnel device which will help with the disposal of FOG properly. These free funnels are designed to be screwed onto an empty bottle so that when the FOG is cooled, it can be easily poured into the bottle for recycling or disposal via the bin. Suitable for smaller businesses who are not part of the catering industry, they can be requested by calling Waterline on 08457 440088.

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