Managing fats, oils and grease


Three Rivers District is a particularly high-risk area for blockages and pollutions from fat, oil and grease (FOG). 

In the last year there have been over 700 blockages in the Three Rivers area, the majority of which are caused by people putting the wrong things down the drain and FOG and food waste is a growing problem. When FOG, generated during the preparation, cooking and washing up of food, pots and pans, utensils and the kitchen itself, is discharged into our drains, it later cools and hardens, causing pipes to become blocked. This can lead to localised external and internal sewage flooding, as well as pollution incidents.

Under Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991, it is a criminal offence to put anything down the drain likely to interfere with the free flow of its contents and FSEs can face fines or even prosecution for failing to comply with this law. Businesses could also lose sales due to forced temporary closure if their premises internally flood with sewage and Thames Water will also seek to recover costs for clearing blockages.  For these reasons, it is really important that FSEs understand and are aware of the requirements for grease management.

As a wastewater company we advocate FSEs remove FOG at source through the fitting of a grease removal unit or passive grease separator, as well as having good kitchen practice in place. 

Keeping drains clear booklet (pdf)

Managing your waste booklet (pdf)

Managing your waste poster (pdf)