Preventing blockages and sewer flooding

As a business in the hospitality or food service industry, the last thing you need is sewer flooding on your premises. Flooding, blockages and bad smells coming from drains can all be avoided by making small changes to the way you dispose of cooking fats, oils and grease.

How to dispose of cooking fats, oils and grease

Cooking fats, oils and grease, along with leftover food scraps, can all create blockages in pipes, drains and the network of underground sewers. Fats and oils won’t just disappear down the plughole; as fat hardens it sticks to food scraps and other debris in the sewer creating a blockage or even a fatberg.

Don’t put your business at risk of flooding or costly plumbing bills to remove blockages. Follow these easy steps to keep your pipes and drains blockage-free.

Bin icon


wipe and scrape plates, pans and utensils before washing (and put waste in the bin).

Recycle fats


collect waste oil in a suitable secure container.

Van collecting waste icon


arrange for oil to be collected by a licensed waste contractor.

Collect oil


use strainers in sink plugholes (and empty the contents into the bin).

Fat trap


maintain grease traps and enzyme dosing equipment regularly.

Pour oil down the drain


put cooking oil, fat or grease down the sink.

Pouring cooking oil


pour waste oil, fat or grease down the drain.

Food scraps in the sink


put food scrapings into the sink (put in the rubbish bin).

Brushing food into bin


sweep waste into floor drains (place rubbish in the bin).

Poring hot water down the sick icon


put boiling hot water down the sink to try to dissolve fat and grease (it doesn’t work!).

Click here to access the Foodservice FOG Management Guide. This guide has been produced to give people in the hospitality, restaurant and catering sector guidance on the importance of disposing of cooking fats, oils and grease (FOG) responsibly, along with practical ways to do so. Put together by an alliance of organisations from the foodservice and catering equipment sectors along with representatives from the water industry and environmental health sectors, the guide provides a common understanding of the challenges posed by FOG, current laws and standards that apply to FOG management and best practice equipment and approaches to prevent FOG from entering drains and public sewers.

Grease traps

Did you know that all businesses are required by law to make sure their waste does not block or damage the sewer network? The regulations are all covered in Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

Businesses which do not dispose of fats, oils and grease responsibly are at risk of recharges for the cost of blockage removal or even prosecution.

There are also specific Building Regulations – Part H 2.21  that state that Food Service Establishments (FSEs) should have a grease separator fitted to the drains serving kitchens, or other effective means of removing grease.

Installing grease management equipment to catch all sources of fats, oil and grease in the kitchen will not only avoid blockages in pipes and drains but will also help to reduce the impact on the local environment.

Find out how the Lake District Hotel in Keswick has benefited from installing grease traps in their kitchens.