Water industry trade body Water UK and the British Beer & Pub Association have come together to ask landlords, who have not already done so, to act quickly in order to ensure their applications to dispose of waste beer into the sewer can be processed efficiently.

Water companies are standing by to help and have made it as easy as possible to dispose of beer by making disposal applications simpler, cutting bureaucracy and waiving fees.

To protect the environment, it is vital pubs get the permission of their water company before disposing of beer into the sewer. This is especially important as, in a small minority of cases, water companies might not be able to help for operational or environmental reasons.

In the majority of cases, beer that has become unsaleable as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown, will need to be destroyed in the pub. However, where a robust risk assessment allows for the recovery of beer kegs and casks, publicans are being encouraged to consider other options for repurposing spoilt beer, ie as an addition to animal feed or feed for anaerobic digestion.

Water UK chief executive, Christine McGourty, said: “We’re really keen to see pubs open their doors again and have been doing everything we can to help make that happen.

“We obviously have to consider the environmental problems that can be caused by putting large quantities of beer in the sewer system, where it can reach rivers and waterways. It’s important this process is managed carefully to avoid any damage to fish and marine life.

“The quicker landlords can get applications in, where there’s no alternative disposal route, the easier it will be for water companies to help them open in time, and we’re all looking forward to that.”

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