Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991 makes it a criminal offence to discharge "any matter likely to injure the sewer or drain, to interfere with the free flow of its contents." Fats, oils and greases (FOGs) are examples of such causes. 

Clear sewer Clogged sewer

Clear sewer and a clogged sewer 

Build up of Fats Oils and Grease (FOG) causes

  • Odour
  • Attraction of vermin
  • Sewage flooding following blockage of drains and sewers
  • Harm to wildlife
  • Damage to drains and sewers
  • Expensive repair and remedial works such as jetting to remove blockages and excavation to renew broken drains
  • Loss of income to businesses

Here are some tips on how you can help:

  • Scrape wet plates, pans and utensils into a bin to remove food and grease before washing.
  • Ensure all fats, oils and grease are kept out of washing water
  • Use strainers in sink plug holes and put any collected food waste in bins.
  • Keep floors free from spills, waste, fats, oils and grease.

Do not sweep solids into floor drains – put rubbish and food waste into bins. 

Cooking oil can be recycled to form biodiesel as a renewable energy source and has valuable benefits to the environment in reducing carbon emissions and conserving fossil fuels. 

How to dispose of fats, oils and grease safely:

  • Collect waste oil in a suitable secure container and arrange collection by an approved and licensed contractor – check local directories or look on the internet.
  • Consider having a grease trap installed by a specialist contractor and make sure it is regularly maintained.
  • Try a bacteria and enzyme fat removal treatment in which the bacteria literally 'eat' the fat.
  • Seek advice from your Environmental Health and Building Control departments.