The Water Industry Act 1991 – Complete Guide
Water and sewerage in England and Wales is governed by Acts of Parliament and European Directives. The legislation covers the following areas:
- economic regulation of the sector
- water supply
- sewerage services
- drinking water quality
- environmental standards
- customer service
- flood and drought protection and adaptation
A particular act that covers drainage and sewerage systems is the Water Industry Act 1991. In this post we’ll give you a complete guide to the Water Industry Act 1991, read on and you will learn about:
- The water industry act and its relevance to restaurant operators.
- What it means for restaurant operators in management of Fat, oil and grease (FOG)?
- What you need do to comply with FOG management legislation?
- What bodies will check you are complying with the Water Industry Act 1991
- What happens if you are found not to comply with legislation
Understanding Water Industry Act 1991 and its Relevance to Restaurant Operators
The Act is divided into 8 parts. Each part relates to a different duty or responsibility of the water company and the end users.
Water Industry Act 1991 – Legislation
(1) Subject to the provisions of Chapter III of this Part, no person shall throw, empty or turn, or suffer or permit to be thrown or emptied or to pass, into any public sewer, or into any drain or sewer communicating with a public sewer
(a) Any matter likely to injure the sewer or drain, to interfere with the free flow of its contents or to affect prejudicially the treatment and disposal of its contents
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) above, chemical refuse, waste steam or a liquid of a temperature higher than that mentioned in that subsection is a prohibited substance if (either alone or in combination with the contents of the sewer or drain in question) it is or, in the case of the liquid, is when so heated—
(b) the cause of a nuisance; or
(c) injurious, or likely to cause injury, to health.
(3) A person who contravenes any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable—
- on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum and to a further fine not exceeding £50 for each day on which the offence continues after conviction;
- on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.
What Does the Water Industry Act Mean for Restaurant Operators?
“(a) Any matter likely to injure the sewer or drain, to interfere with the free flow of its contents or to affect prejudicially the treatment and disposal of its contents
This means any waste material which impacts sewer network operation such as FOG must not be poured down the drain as there is a risk of blocking the sewage system. This may lead to the development of fatbergs in the sewage pipes. Check out some facts about fatbergs and why they should be avoided at all costs. Blockage of sewage pipes reduces the capacity of the sewage network which may trigger the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) which releases raw sewage (including fat, oil and grease) into the rivers and streams, thereby polluting it.
What Do You Need to do to Comply with the Water Industry Act?
- Check all the pot washers, dirty sinks, grills etc drain out into a fat trap or Grease removal unit.
- Regularly clean the grease trap and empty the trapped grease into a waste bin.
- Check that the equipment listed above is serviced and maintained.
If you do not have a grease trap or grease removal unit, enlist the help of a grease trap supplier to audit your premises and specify a grease trap that is suitable and sufficient for your requirements. If you have received a Water Compliance Notice then make sure you respond accordingly and promptly to minimise any penalty you may incur like this landmark prosecution by Thames Water of a pub operator.
What Bodies Will Check Your Compliance with the Water Industry Act 1991?
- Local Council
- Water Authority
- H&S Inspectors
What Happens If You Don’t Comply With The Legislation?
Receive A Letter From A Water Company?
Have you or your business received a Water Compliance Notice from the water company or you’re not sure what to do about grease management? Speak to us for a no obligation chat on 01788 550 100, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us online for more info and ensure your business is compliant with the Water Industry Act 1991.