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BBC Radio Cornwall

Thousands of gallons of beer have been poured down the drain in Cornwall in the past week as pubs prepare to reopen.

It has been a challenge for South West Water, which has had to co-ordinate time slots for every pub to avoid overloading the system.

Alex Williams, who runs the Polgooth Inn near St Austell, had 100 gallons to dispose of.


Mr Williams had to get rid of his beer on a Friday and a Monday, pouring 50 gallons each day.

"It took over an hour to get rid of but it had to be done," he said.

Staff at South West Water said they had to make sure only small amounts of beer were released into the system on any one day.

Andrew Rowntree, from the utility company, said beer took a lot of oxygen to break down - oxygen which was vital to the way water treatment plants worked.

If the treatment process gets hit with a lot of beer, then the bacteria within our system has a 'bad night out', and it doesn't do any good at all. It can completely kill our sewage treatment processes."

Andrew RowntreeSouth West Water

South West Water provides water and sewerage services to Devon and Cornwall, plus small parts of Dorset and Somerset.

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