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Indian restaurant near Shrewsbury fined £9,000 for huge fat blockage

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | News | Published: | Last Updated:

An Indian restaurant near Shrewsbury has been fined more than £9,000 for blocking drains with fat, oil and grease and polluting a nearby watercourse.

CCTV showing the huge build-up of fat in the pipework

Saffron Cottage, at Ford, was prosecuted by Severn Trent for the pollution which was caused by a huge build-up of fat in the pipework.

It is only the third time such a case has been brought in the UK.

SCE Catering Limited, trading as Saffron Cottage, was ordered at Telford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday to pay the maximum fine.

This was reduced due to their guilty plea, resulting in a total fine of £9,266, including costs.

Saffron Cottage, at Ford. Photo: Google StreetView.

Under section 111 of the Water Industry Act it is an offence to discharge anything into the sewer that may interfere with the free flow.

In this case, a huge blockage, made up of fat, resulted in the sewer overflowing into a local watercourse and causing pollution.

The subsequent investigation found that Saffron Cottage had caused the blockage with fat used in cooking being put down the drain and it flowing into the sewer where it coagulated and caused the blockage.

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Severn Trent visited the premises on several occasions, and sent a number of letters, asking for grease traps to be installed and warning of the consequences, but the owners didn’t comply.

Chris Giles, head of network operations for Severn Trent Water, said: “The verdict in this case is an important milestone for us, and we really want this to make other companies think about what they are doing with regards to disposing of fats, oils and grease and how it impacts our customers.

CCTV showing the huge build-up of fat in the pipework

"We clear around 50,000 blockages a year and fat contributes to the majority of those, as it binds together all the other things that end up in the sewer rather than the bin and creates huge lumps which block the sewers.

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"This is totally avoidable and in this case, simply installing a small grease trap could have prevented the situation.

"Legal action is a last resort for us, but our customers and the environment shouldn’t have to suffer because of the actions of one business not following the rules, and ignoring our advice."

No one was available for comment at the restaurant when contacted by the Shropshire Star.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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