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Unauthorised discharge costs United Utilities

United Utilities have been fined for allowing raw sewage to discharge into the River Mersey.

The incident happened earlier this year when a discharge of raw sewage entered the river from an overflow outlet at Macdermott Road, Widnes.

Court proceedings took place, with United Utilities admitting liability for the incident and accepting a fine of £14,000 and costs of £1,334 payable to the Environment Agency.

The incident occurred because a section of the local pumping station became blocked with solidified waste fats. The blockage at the pumping station meant that sewage could not make its way through the drainage system which meant that it had no other option but to discharge via the overflow vent.

United Utilities have now put systems in place to make sure that a similar incident does not occur.

It’s amazing how many people still unwittingly put waste oil and fat into the drainage system. When the fat cools it solidifies, causing a serious headache for drainage engineers who have to remove the frequent blockages cause by solidified fats.

Instead of pouring liquid fat into the drain, collect it in a heat proof vessel and when it solidifies put it into the non-recyclable waste with your other general waste products.