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  • by Trevor Loveday

Thames wins "landmark" sewer abuse case

Thames Water has won what it has described as a “landmark case” after successfully prosecuting a food outlet for sewer abuse in emptying significant amounts of fat and oil into the company’s water water network.

A Henley-on-Thames pub was fined more than £16,000 for allowing cooking fat and oil to enter the town’s sewer network.

It was the first time Thames Water had prosecuted a food outlet for sewer abuse. The case covered several instances between 2017 and 2019 where significant amounts of fat, oil and grease from the pub’s kitchen were allowed to get into the sewer network.


Thames Water contacted the pub’s management, 15 times to discuss its abuse of the sewers before it decided to prosecute.

The judge described the pub’s practices as “a serious potential environmental issue”. The pub’s landlord was personally ordered to pay £7,170, while the business must pay £9,170.

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