Scottish Water put drains 'on a diet' to tackle fatbergs
St Andrews is part of a six-month pilot to tackle grease and oil disposed of down drains.
Food businesses in St Andrews are fighting back against fatbergs clogging up the town's drains.
More than 100 takeaways, cafes, restaurants and hotels in the Fife town will be visited by experts offering advice on food waste management under a new initiative led by Scottish Water.
The plan to put St Andrews drains "on a diet" is the first of its kind in Scotland and, if the six-month pilot project is successful, it will be rolled out to other areas north of the border.
Fatbergs - large lumps of fatty deposits that block the sewer system - can cause major flooding and pollution while disposing of them costs significant sums of money every year.
They are typically caused by accumulations of fat, oil and grease (FOG) which have been disposed of incorrectly down drains and sinks.
Scottish Water's Fat Free Sewer project will see every food service establishment in St Andrews visited by food waste management experts.
Officers from Environmental Compliance & Services will go to the premises in the town and advise business on the best ways to dispose of FOG and if their grease management system is sufficient.
It is suggested that around eight in ten establishments in Scotland have an inadequate grease management system or no system in place at all, Scottish Water said.
'Many blockages in our sewer network occur as a result of the incorrect disposal of fats and oils into the sewer system.'Mike Will, waste water operations general manager at Scottish Water
"Many blockages in our sewer network occur as a result of the incorrect disposal of fats and oils into the sewer system," said Mike Will, waste water operations general manager at Scottish Water.
"The consequences on the environment can be huge - it can cause flooding to properties and roads, and pollute rivers, as well as impacting valuable assets such as bathing waters.
"Currently, Scottish Water visits food service establishments on a reactive basis, once blockages have occurred. In some cases these are one-off events, but sometimes we do get called to the same locations.
"This pilot project, for the first time, will see us proactively visiting food-serving premises, giving them advice and guidance on what they can do to protect and preserve our valuable sewer network.
"We are effectively attempting to put St Andrews' drains on a diet."
Scottish Water attends an average 95 blockages in the sewer system every day across Scotland, at a cost of £6.5m per year, with more than half of those blockages caused by FOG.