Why are we debating about dishwashers?

Peter Henley is an expert in Wastewater Infrastructure

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The Great Dishwasher Debate poses several questions: What is there to discuss? Why is it important? Well, this #TechnicalTuesday, #teamWRc are hosting the Dishwasher Debate event and hope to answer those very questions, together with the vital input of the key stakeholders from the hospitality sector, water companies, and kitchen equipment designers and suppliers.

The issue of sewage discharge into rivers has rightly focussed public attention on the performance of the UK Sewerage Undertakers, but as with everything, the issue is complex, and many factors influence this perceived under-performance of our sewer network. One of those issues is the discharge of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) into the sewer network from domestic properties, but also the hospitality sector, be that your local fast-food outlet or public house. FOG produced when cooking food should always be stopped from entering the sewer to avoid the dreaded ‘Fatberg’. These often hit the news when they reach monster proportions, but occur all too regularly on a smaller scale and with a similar impact of causing a blockage in the sewer. These smaller blockages will not only cause an impact on the connected customer(s) but also potentially on the wider environment if the sewage escapes into our roads and rivers.

So, the importance of correctly positioning the dishwasher and grease removal unit in commercial kitchens is critical. The hot temperatures of the discharge can emulsify FOG captured in the grease removal units or kill bacteria in dosing systems, hence the Debate will help formulate the correct approach to this key decision in planning a kitchen to effectively deal with FOG.

A key driver behind the dishwasher event is that in the UK water companies have been asked by the supply chain and the hospitality sector to have a unified approach to grease management systems and the positioning of the dishwasher varies between companies. In order to establish the best sole approach, the water companies are keen to understand the challenge and gather views to formulate their approach and to understand the pros and cons of upstream or downstream connection and if the dishwasher is used for cleansing or simply disinfection.

Hopefully the Dishwasher Debate will provide useful insights from the views of the sector and help drive policy.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Peter Henley

Principal Consultant (Wastewater Infrastructure)

Peter has been in the waste water industry for over 30 years, specialising in sewerage operations and waste water issues. He has an extensive background in sewer flow surveys, pipeline condition assessment and inspection and rehabilitation. He works closely with the WRc Infrastructure team to deliver the condition assessment of live rising mains using innovative inspection techniques to determine remaining asset life. Peter has worked on sewer operational best practice guides and leads delivery of technical training in sewer condition classification, drain investigation and drain repair both in the UK and internationally.

2023-07-25 10:28:00