Scheme to keep drains running in South Tyneside

A new project is aiming to help cut drain blockages in South Tyneside.

Thursday, 26th July 2018, 6:00 am
New scheme to prevent drains from becoming clogged

Food businesses across the borough have been contacted by environmental health officers in the run up to the launch of the scheme.

The Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) scheme is being delivered by South Tyneside Council, in partnership with Northumbrian Water, to increase awareness of the need to dispose of waste fat, oil and grease properly.

It comes following incidents of a build-up of grease in the local sewers and blocked drains to the back of Ocean Road, which is renowned for its array of B&Bs, restaurants and take away businesses.

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Coun Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “We know that the majority of food businesses do dispose of fats, oils and waste responsibly.

“However fats, oils and grease can end up in the sewer in a variety of ways, from the surfaces of utensils and plates during washing up to food products containing fats being put in waste disposal units or down the sink. In liquid form they may not appear to be harmful, but as they cool, they congeal and harden, sticking to the inner lining of drainage pipes, restricting the flow of waste water and causing pipes to block.

“This scheme is about us working in partnership with businesses to highlight the issue and provide advice to prevent problems from happening and helping to ensure the sewerage system in Ocean Road remains free-flowing, clear of fats, oils and grease and easier to maintain in the future.”

As part of the scheme, officers have been giving advice on the effective storage and disposal of waste in particular fat and oil based products, as well as offering them the opportunity for further waste management advice and appropriate grease traps to be installed.

Anthony Wilson, Technical Advisor at Northumbrian Water, said: “By working with South Tyneside Council and businesses in the area, we hope to encourage more people to love their drain and help to keep fats, oil and grease where they belong – in the bin.

“Just a few simple changes will make a big difference to maintaining a healthy and free flowing sewerage system as well as helping business owners to avoid committing an offence by not following best practice.”

For details about the FOG scheme, call the Council’s Environmental Health Team on (0191) 424 7919 or visit