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The cleanup begins – responding to flood damage

On 10/01/14 by Steve Livens (Policy Manager - Product Assurance & Supply Chain)

Thankfully, the extreme wet weather and high winds that have battered the UK since Christmas Eve now appear to be subsiding and in the wake of flooding, thoughts are turning to the clean-up ahead. Many of us face the mammoth, and in some cases heart-breaking, task of repairing the damage caused to flood damaged homes but businesses have also suffered and here there may be particular challenges to face. Pubs are one such example and in the attempt to address damage caused by flooded cellars the following pointers may help in the clean-up process.

First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the pub operator to ensure that the cellar and its contents are professionally sanitised. Documentary evidence that this has been carried out satisfactorily must be presented to any personnel entering the cellar and will include sanitisation of all equipment, kegs, casks and gas cylinders.

Line cleaning and glass washing should only be undertaken using potable water and all cellar contents that has been in contact with flood water should be assumed to be contaminated - these may therefore present a health risk. However, in the instance that equipment can be recovered from the cellar the following should be considered:

Electrical equipment: The components and wiring in electrical equipment recovered from flooded pub cellars will be damaged. The cellar service provider will recover the equipment for safe disposal / destruction with recovery of costs being subject to the insurance claim made by the outlet.

Kegs and casks: Unbroached kegs may be unaffected, but if contacted by flood water, should be returned to the brewery. Where casks have been contacted by flood water, the contents must be discarded since the shive is porous and there is a risk that the contents could be contaminated.

Dispense lines/ equipment: Cellar technical services will be responsible for the replacement of dispense equipment and beer lines that have been affected by flood water and recovery of costs will be subject to the insurance claim made by the outlet.

All containers affected by flood water should be clearly marked prior to uplift and returned to the brewery and documentary evidence should be presented to dray crew to show that the containers being uplifted for return have been sanitised in situ.

For full information on dealing with flood damage to pub cellars the BBPA has produced a technical circular, a copy of which can be obtained by contacting Steve Livens ( or 020 7627 9136.

Brewers and publicans can also contact the Licensed Trade Charity for further help and assistance. Examples of how the LTC may be able to help publicans and their families include:

• Income – if publicans will lose income as a result of the pub damage and publicans are struggling to manage essential living costs, the charity may be able to help with short term solutions, for example paying for regular essential monthly bills in the home.

• If publicans have had their homes damaged and the insurance does not cover the cost of temporary accommodation, the LTC may be able to pay for this.

• If essential items have been destroyed in the home, again not covered by insurance, we may be able to help replace them.

• If your staff and families are ill, and need special support which is not provided elsewhere in the short term, we might be able to arrange this.

These are just some of the ways the LTC may be able to help, so please encourage publicans to give them a call FREE on 0808 801 0550 to find out more. The helpline is open from 8am-8pm, 7 days a week. Calls are free from landlines and most mobile networks.

Alternatively, go online and type ‘flood’ to receive up-to-date information and practical advice.


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