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What is F.O.G.?

F.O.G. stands for fat, oil, grease and wax.

When F.O.G. is discharged to the sanitary sewer from food preparation and cleanup activities, it can cause problems. The FOG Control Program is mandated by federal and state government and includes an educational component for residential and non-residential customers as well as an enforceable ordinance aimed at safely managing the discharge of FOG from commercial food service establishments. The F.O.G. Control Program applies to residents as well as businesses.

FAT


  • Milk, Cheese, Sour Cream

  • Butter, Shortening, Margarine

  • Meat Trimmings

  • Peanut Butter

OIL


  • Olive/Canola/Vegetable Oil

  • Cooking Oils
  •  
  • Salad Dressing

GREASE


  • Bacon/Sausage Fat

  • Meat/Pan Drippings

  • Gravy

WAX


  • Candle Wax

  • Polishing Products

  • Waxy Products

Why is F.O.G. a Problem?

When warm fat, oil, grease and wax are poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet they may not travel very far through your pipes before they begin to form large, nasty conglomerations with other debris and chemicals and stick to the walls of your pipes. These FOG deposits could cause future sewer backups in your home, condominium, restaurant, or other building.

When FOG goes down the drain, it hardens and causes sewer pipes to clog. This can lead to a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) where raw sewage actually backs up into your home, lawn, neighborhood, and streets. Not only does this nasty mess cause health issues, it also can run into a nearby stream or river, which affects our drinking water. If your pipes become clogged from putting FOG down the drain, it can be very expensive problem to fix. To avoid household and environmental damage as well as a costly bill, NEVER put FOG down the drain!

F.O.G. Buildup causes problems:
  • Severe reduction in pipe flow capacity
  • Complete blockages
  • Slow drains
  • Sewage backups
  • Contact with disease carrying bacteria
  • Unnecessary costly repairs
  • Contamination of water sources

What Can I do to Help?

1

CAN THE GREASE


Pour cooled fat, oil, grease and wax into a container and put the container in the trash. If you don’t have a container, place tin foil into a coffee cup or similar, add F.O.G., allow to cool and dispose.

2

SCRAPE YOUR PLATE


Before washing, use a paper napkin or paper towel to wipe F.O.G. from dishes and dispose of it in the trash.

3

CATCH THE SCRAPS


Use sink strainers to catch food waste. Put food scraps in the trash, not through the garbage disposal.

F.O.G. for Residents

Greasy Myths

Myth:
“I can dissolve grease in my pipes with hot water.”
Fact:
Hot water gives the illusions of dissolving grease. It really just pushes the grease further down the drain, where it quickly cools and sticks to the inside of the pipe.

Myth:
“I don’t create enough grease to clog pipes.”
Fact:
Once deposited inside the pipe, grease does not go away. Over time, any household can put enough grease down a drain to clog its pipes.

Myth:
“I can flush grease down my toilet.”
Fact:
Flushing grease down the toilet just creates build-up in the toilet drain.

Myth:
“It doesn’t matter what I do because I’m in an apartment complex with lots of other kitchens.”
Fact:
Apartments are especially vulnerable to grease clogs because there are so many kitchens draining into the sewer system at one point. Every apartment needs to keep grease out of the drain.

Myth:
“It’s not my problem. If the drain is clogged, the landlord will pay for the repairs.”
Fact:
Depending on your rental agreement, the landlord may pay for the repair, but YOU are the person who has to put up with the inconvenience and stench of the backed up drain.
Greasy the FOG Mascot

FOG Program Coordinator

Johnny Rogers
(704) 216-7568
jroge@salisburync.gov

F.O.G. for Businesses

“FOG” stands for Fat, Oil, Grease and wax discharged to sanitary sewers maintained by the City of Salisbury’s Utilities Department (also called Salisbury-Rowan Utilities or SRU). The FOG Control Program, by ordinance, requires food service establishments or “FSEs” and sewer users that may discharge excessive FOG, to have, operate and maintain at their own expense SRU-approved grease interceptors or traps. Grease interceptors and traps are devices that remove FOG and related debris from wastewater and contain them until a septage management firm can properly dispose of them.

Salisbury’s FOG Control Program is mandated by federal and state government and is a requirement of the Wastewater Collection System Permit Number WQCS00019 issued to the City of Salisbury by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The FOG Control Program will help protect sewers against accumulations of FOG that can interfere with the operation and maintenance of sewer systems.

FOG Program Coordinator

Johnny Rogers
(704) 216-7568
jroge@salisburync.gov

FOG Program Requirements

Adopted FOG Ordinance

Adopted FOG Ordinance - PDF

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ARTICLE III, CHAPTER 7, AND ARTICLES I AND VIII, CHAPTER 25, OF THE CODE OF THE CIT Y OF SA LISBURY, RELATfNG TO SEWER USE AND GREASE, OIL AND SAND INTERCEPTORS

Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Salisbury, North Carolina, as follows:

SECTION 1. That Section 7-4 3, Article III, Chapter 7 of the Code of the City of Salisbury, regarding grease traps, is repealed.

SECTION 2. That Section 25-1, Article I, Chapter 25 of the Code of the City of Salisbury be amended to add the bold and underlined language as follows :

Food service establishment means a commercial, industrial, or institutional facility primarily engaged in activities of preparing, serving, or otherwise making food items available for consumption, including but not limited to restaurants, commercial kitchens, caterers, hotels, cafeterias, delicatessens, meat-cutting facilities, bakeries, ice cream parlors, cafes, hospitals, daycares, schools, bars, correctional facilities, and care institutions.

SECTION 3. That Section 25- I 87(b)(3) , Article VIII, Chapter 25 of the Code of the City of Salisbury be amended to delete the stricken language and add the bold and underlined language as follows:

(3) Any waters or wastes which may contain a total fat, '+','OK, grease or oill grease, or wax, whether emulsified or not, at a total concentrat ion of more than one hundred (I 00) milligrams per liter or in a concentration or amount otherwise determined by the director to be excessive, whether emulsified or not, or contain-iftg substances which may so lid if y or become viscous at temperatures between thirty-two (32) degrees and one hundred fifty (150) degrees Fahrenheit (zero degrees and sixty-five and one-half (65.5) degrees centigrade) at the point of discharge into the system.

SECTION 4. That Section 25- 188(i) , Article VIII, Chapter 25 of the Code of the City of Salis bury be amended to delete the stricken language and add the bold and underlined language as follows:

(i) ) Grease, 0il and Sand interceptors. Grease, oil and sand interceptors shall be provided when, in the opinion of the director, they are neccessary for the proper handling of liquid wastes containing grease in excessive amounts , or any flammable wastes, sand or other harmful ingredients; e wept that such interceptors shall not be required for private living quarters or dwelling units. All interceptors shall be maintained by the owner at his expense in continuously efficient operation at all times. Any existing facilities that do not have a grease, oil and sand interceptor installed may be required to install such an interceptor if their discharge is determined to contain excessive amounts of grease, oil or sand (see subsections 25 I 87(a) (3) and (a)(6)).

(i) Interceptors and traps.

I. Any user that is a food service establishment or whose wastewater is determined by the director to contain fat, oil, grease, or wax in excessive amounts or concentrations shall do the following in a manner satisfactory to the director: site, install, operate, and maintain a director-approved grease interceptor or grease trap that removes fat, oil, grease, and wax from wastewater prior to discharge to the sewer; and make, retain, and provide to the director records of maintenance and operation.

2. Any user whose wastewater may include any flammable waste, sand, or other harmful ingredient shall do the following in a manner satisfactory to the director: site, install, operate, and maintain a director-approved interceptor or trap that removes the flammable waste, sand, or other harmful ingredient from wastewater prior to discharge to the sewer; and make, retain, and provide to the director records of maintenance and operation.

3. Interceptors and traps shall be maintained by the owner s at their expense in continuously efficient operation at all times.

4. A food service establishment in operation on April 7, 2009 shall comply with Section 25-188(i)(l) no later than April 7, 2012, unless the director determines that an earlier date is necessary to remedy interference with the operation or maintenance of a sewer; all other users shall comply with Section 25-188(i)(l) upon adoption. All users shall comply with Section 25-188(i)(2) a nd Section 25-188(0(3) upon adoption.

SECTION 5. That all ordinances, or the parts of ordinances m conflict with this ordinance, are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.

SECTION 6. That this Ordinance shall be effective upon adoption by the City of Salisbury from and after its passage.

(Adopted April 7, 2009)

FOG Program User Guidance and Implementation Plan

User Guidance and Implementation Plan - PDF
  • Introduction
  • Ordinances
  • Implementation Plan
  • Design Structural and Installation Criteria for Grease Interceptors and Traps

“FOG” stands for Fat, Oil, Grease and wax discharged to sanitary sewers maintained by the City of Salisbury’s Utilities Department (also called Salisbury-Rowan Utilities or SRU). The FOG Control Program, by ordinance, requires food service establishments or “FSEs” and sewer users that may discharge excessive FOG, to have, operate and maintain at their own expense SRU-approved grease interceptors or traps. Grease interceptors and traps are devices that remove FOG and related debris from wastewater and contain them until a septage management firm can properly dispose of them.

Salisbury’s FOG Control Program is mandated by federal and state government and is a requirement of the Wastewater Collection System Permit Number WQCS00019 issued to the City of Salisbury by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The FOG Control Program will help protect sewers against accumulations of FOG that can interfere with the operation and maintenance of sewers.

The FOG Control Program includes, among others, the following elements:

  • City ordinances (discussed in Section II below)
  • SRU Implementation Plan (Section III below)
  • City of Salisbury Uniform Construction Standards (available from SRU)

The Salisbury Code of Ordinances establishes the basic framework for the FOG Control Program. Presented below are excerpts from and references to some of the relevant ordinances. In general, SRU plans to satisfy the duties assigned by City ordinance and to exercise the authority delegated by City ordinance as set out in the Implementation Plan (Section III below). However, this document is not intended and shall not be construed to narrow or limit Salisbury or SRU authority.

  1. Basic Grease Interceptor/Trap Requirements
    All new food service establishments (“FSEs”) and all users that discharge excessive FOG shall have SRU-approved grease interceptors or grease traps that are properly designed, sited, installed, operated, and maintained. Food service establishments (“FSEs”) in operation on April 7, 2009, shall comply with this requirement no later than April 7, 2012 (and sooner if necessary to remedy a sewer problem). If fixtures are added that discharge wastewater with FOG, the fixtures must be plumbed into an interceptor or trap and approved by SRU.
    For more details please see, for example, City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances Sections 25-202(a)(2)n, 25-202(a)(2)b and 25-202(i)
  2. Inspections, Record keeping, and Reporting
    SRU is authorized to conduct inspections and to require record-keeping and reporting by sewer users, including municipal users, for grease interceptors and grease traps. For more details please see, for example, City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances Sections 25-204(a), 25-202(i)(1)-(3), 25-206(b), 25-201(c)(1), 205(a)(2)(a)-(h) and 25-201(d).
  3. FOG Program Coverage
    Sewer users both inside and outside the city limits, including municipal users, must comply with FOG-related requirements. For more details please see, for example, City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances Sections 25-87(f), 25-88, 25-89(f), 25-110, 25-114, and 25-204(a).
  4. Enforcement
    SRU has various types of authority pursuant to the Salisbury Code of Ordinances, North Carolina statutes (including the Salisbury Charter and the General Statutes), and the common law to enforce the FOG Control Program, including but not limited to the following:
    • Discontinuation of water and sewer service. For more details please see, for example, City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances Sections 25-65, 25-208(a)(5) and 25-202(a)(4).
    • Assessment of civil penalties as outlined in the City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances. For more details please see, for example, City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances Chapter 8.5-1 and Section 25-208.
    • Assessment of the City’s cleanup, repair and other costs of response to noncompliance. For more details please see, for example, City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances Section 25-208(b)(2)d and h.
    • Coordinate prosecution for criminal violations, including falsification of records. For more details please see, for example, City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances Sections 25-208(c)(1) and (f).
    • Abatement of a violation as a nuisance. For more details please see, for example, City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances Section 25-208.

This Section III is SRU’s FOG Control Program Implementation Plan that describes SRU’s plan for satisfying the duties assigned by City ordinance and for exercising the authority delegated by City ordinance. This FOG Control Program Implementation Plan will be amended from time to time by SRU, consistent with SRU’s assigned duties and delegated authority. However, this document, including this Section III, is not intended and shall not be construed to narrow or limit Salisbury or SRU authority.

  1. SRU Approval Process for Grease Interceptors and Traps
    Food service establishments (“FSEs”) and other sewer users required by Salisbury Code of Ordinances Section 25-202(i) to have grease interceptors or traps must obtain SRU approval for their interceptors/traps and for any changes in design, operation, or modification to existing grease interceptors/traps. This requirement applies to both existing and new interceptors and traps.
    Requests for approval should be submitted well in advance of any applicable deadline for installation. FSEs in existence on or before April 7, 2009 that do not have a grease interceptor/trap may be eligible for financial assistance from SRU if a grease interceptor/trap is installed before April 7, 2012. To find out more about possible financial assistance, please call SRU Environmental Services Division at (704) 638- 5375.
    1. New grease interceptor/traps
      1. User Request. Requests for SRU approval of new grease interceptors/traps must include the following:
        • Plans that meet all applicable federal, state, and local requirements, including City of Salisbury Uniform Construction Standards
        • Site plan showing the location of the grease interceptor/trap, grease waste line, and sanitary sewer line
        • Plumbing plans including all kitchen fixtures connected to the grease interceptor/trap, plumbing elevations and the sizing criteria used to size the device.
        • Standard grease interceptor/trap construction detail
      2. SRU Response. SRU will approve or deny plans and will work with users to develop acceptable plans. NOTE: A grease interceptor or trap may be installed only after SRU has granted approval. A user with a new grease interceptor or trap that has not received SRU approval will not be allowed to discharge wastewater to the sewer.
    2. Existing grease interceptor/traps
      1. User Request. Requests for SRU approval of existing grease interceptors/traps must include the following:
        • Grease Interceptor/Trap Verification Form completed by a licensed NC septage management firm, a NC licensed plumber or NC professional engineer, and providing the required information, including the volume and condition of the existing interceptor/trap. To obtain a Grease Interceptor/Trap Verification Form, please call SRU Environmental Services Division at (704) 638-5375.
      2. SRU Response. Based on information provided in a Grease Interceptor/Trap Verification Form and an onsite evaluation by SRU, SRU will notify the owner/operator that the existing grease interceptor/trap is:
        1. Currently satisfactory; or
        2. Not satisfactory and that corrective actions (such as installing/adding devices and performing maintenance and repairs) must be accomplished by a specified date
    3. SRU Inspections Program For Grease Interceptors And Traps
      SRU will conduct mandatory inspections of every food service establishment connected to the sanitary sewer system, and at other sewer user locations and times as SRU deems appropriate. If FOG is responsible for a sewer blockage, all food service establishments (and other sewer user locations as deemed appropriate by SRU) upstream from the blockage will be inspected. Based on the results of inspections SRU will notify users of any required corrective actions and deadlines for compliance.
    4. Maintenance Requirements.
      1. General Maintenance Requirements. All grease interceptors and traps shall be maintained by the owner and/or operator’s expense so as to be in continuously effective operation. The use of enzymes or biological grease interceptor/trap additives is not prohibited; however, they shall not be used as an alternative to the pumping of a grease interceptor/trap, nor as a primary method of grease interceptor/trap maintenance.
      2. Implementation of Best Management Practices. Following best management practices to reduce the discharge of fats, oils, and grease into the sanitary sewer system will help reduce sanitary sewer overflows caused from grease blockages and may help protect your own facility from damage caused by sewer line backup.
        1. Train kitchen staff: Kitchen staff should be trained on best management practices routinely, especially if your facility has a high turnover rate.
        2. ”Dispose of food waste by recycling and/or solid waste removal..
        3. ”Dry wipe” pots, pans, and dishware prior to washing.
        4. Use a three-sink dishwashing system: Utilize sinks for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing. Pot wash sink should be plumbed to a grease trap or interceptor.
        5. Recycle waste cooking oil-Never pour oil down sinks or drains! Rendering companies provide a waste bin and some will even pay your facility for the deep fryer waste oil. Ensure grease rendering bins are properly maintained and lids are kept closed at all times, reducing the risk of grease overflows or spillage. If an overflow or spillage occurs, promptly clean up with an oil-absorbent material and dispose of properly.
        6. Routinely clean kitchen exhaust system filters.
        7. Have the grease interceptor/trap pumped by a NC Permitted Grease Hauler per the minimum maintenance requirements: The requirements are located in Sec. III (C) and (C)(5) of the Salisbury-Rowan Utilities Fat, Oil, Grease and Wax (FOG) Control Program User Guidance Document and Implementation Plan, or as otherwise directed by SRU personnel.
        8. Witness all grease interceptor or trap cleaning and maintenance: A representative from your facility should verify that the trap or interceptor has been pumped completely dry (both chambers if applicable) and all surfaces scraped of accumulated grease and solids. All solids should be completely removed from the bottom of trap.
      3. Pumping/Cleaning Requirements.
        Pumping/cleaning of grease interceptors and traps shall include the complete removal of all contents, including floatable materials, wastewater, sludge, and solids and must comply with the requirements and procedures administered by the North Carolina Division of Waste Management and all other applicable requirements. All waste removed from each grease interceptor/trap shall be properly and lawfully removed, transported, and disposed of at a facility permitted by the North Carolina Division of Waste Management to receive such waste.
      4. Improper (Prohibited) Activities
        Improper activities that are harmful to the sewer system and are likely to trigger enforcement action against responsible persons include the following:
        • Hot water running continuously through grease interceptor/trap.
        • Discharge into a grease interceptor/trap of concentrated alkaline or acidic solutions, concentrated detergents, etc
        • Separation, decanting or back flushing of the grease interceptor/trap or its wastes
        • Any discharge of grease interceptor/trap waste to the sanitary sewer or wastewater treatment facilities
      5. Pump/Cleaning Frequency:
        1. Grease Interceptors. Grease interceptors shall be pumped and cleaned:
          Anytime the floatable grease layer exceeds six inches in depth as measured by an approved dipping method; and
          Anytime the settleable solids layer exceeds eight inches in depth as measured by an approved dipping method; and
          Anytime the total volume of captured grease and solid material displaces more than 25 percent of the capacity of the interceptor as calculated using an approved dipping method; and
          Anytime the interceptor is not retaining/capturing FOG; and
          Per the minimum maintenance frequency for the FSE Level identified by SRU:
          LEVEL I FSE: Grease Interceptors – once every 120 days (or more frequently as identified by SRU)
          FSE’s meeting the following criteria:
          • Equipment is generally limited to, freezers/coolers (ie. for dairy, deli, etc.), blenders, coffee/cappuccino machines, convection/microwave ovens or other equipment used for blending, cooling, and/or warming purposes. (NOT stoves/ovens, fryers, griddles, grills, and other equipment used for food prep, warming and cooking purposes.)
          • Food products are precooked.
          • Grease interceptor is not shared with another establishment.
          • Best Management Practices are being continuously and properly implemented and maintained as outlined in this documentation.
          • Maintenance and record keeping requirements shall remain compliant at all times. If at any time the minimum maintenance and record keeping requirements are not being met, additional requirements may apply.
          • There are no other factors that make a shorter period (higher frequency) appropriate.
          LEVEL II FSE: Grease Interceptors – once every 90 days (or more frequently as identified by SRU)
          FSE’s meeting the following criteria:
          • Equipment generally includes stoves/ovens, fryers, griddles, grills, and other such equipment identified for food prep, warming and cooking purposes.
          • Best Management Practices are being continuously and properly implemented and maintained as outlined in this documentation.
          • Maintenance and record keeping requirements shall remain compliant at all times. If at any time the minimum maintenance and record keeping requirements are not being met, additional requirements may apply.
        2. Grease Traps. Grease traps shall be pumped and cleaned:
          Anytime the total volume of captured grease and solid material displaces more than 25 percent of the total volume of the trap; and
          Per the minimum maintenance frequency for the FSE Level identified by SRU:
          LEVEL I FSE: Grease Traps – once every 60 days (or more frequently as identified by SRU)
          FSE’s meeting the following criteria:
          • Equipment is generally limited to, freezers/coolers (ie. for dairy, deli, etc.), blenders, coffee/cappuccino machines, convection/microwave ovens or other equipment used for blending, cooling, and/or warming purposes. (NOT stoves/ovens, fryers, griddles, grills, and other equipment used for food prep, warming and cooking purposes.)
          • Food products are precooked.
          • Best Management Practices are being continuously and properly implemented and maintained as outlined in this documentation.
          • Maintenance and record keeping requirements shall remain compliant at all times. If at any time the minimum maintenance and record keeping requirements are not being met, additional requirements may apply.
          • There are no other factors that make a shorter period (higher frequency) appropriate.
          LEVEL II FSE: Grease Traps – once every 30 days (or more frequently as identified by SRU)
          FSE’s meeting the following criteria:
          • Equipment generally includes stoves/ovens, fryers, griddles, grills, and other such equipment identified for food prep, warming and cooking purposes.
          • Best Management Practices are being continuously and properly implemented and maintained as outlined in this documentation. Maintenance and record keeping requirements shall remain compliant at all times. If at any time the minimum maintenance and record keeping requirements are not being met, additional requirements may apply.
      6. No obstruction of Access
        Grease interceptors and traps are to be kept free from obstructions that would hinder or prevent inspection and/or maintenance activities at all times. Obstructions include but are not limited to vehicles, dumpsters, waste oil bins, landscaping plants, sink drains/plumbing, and stored kitchen supplies.
    5. Record keeping Requirements
      1. Program Acknowledgement Certificate
        The owner/operator shall keep a current, properly completed and signed, Program Acknowledgement Certificate on the premises, posted in plain view of employees. To request a Program Acknowledgement Certificate, please contact SRU Environmental Services Division at (704) 638-5375.
      2. Septage Permit
        The owner/operator of a grease interceptor/trap who cleans and maintains a grease interceptor or trap shall maintain a septage permit (annual renewal) as required by the North Carolina Division of Waste Management, and the septage permit shall be available for inspection by SRU at all times.
      3. Maintenance Records
        The owner/operator shall maintain a written record of grease interceptor/trap maintenance for three (3) years. All such records shall be available for inspection by SRU at all times. Records submittal may be required by the Director on a case-by-case basis. These records shall include:
        1. Establishment/facility name and physical location
        2. Date of grease interceptor/trap service
        3. Time of grease interceptor/trap service
        4. Name of grease interceptor/trap service provider
        5. Name and signature of grease interceptor/trap service provider agent performing said service
        6. Established service frequency
        7. Number and size of each grease interceptor/trap serviced at establishment/facility location
        8. Approximated amount, per best professional judgment of service provider, of grease and solids removed from each grease interceptor/trap
        9. Total volume of waste removed from each grease interceptor/trap (including liquids)
        10. Destination of removed wastes, food solids, and wastewater disposal
        11. Signature and date of establishment/facility personnel confirming service completion
    6. Enforcement
      SRU may bring enforcement actions for noncompliance with the FOG Program, as authorized by the Salisbury Code of Ordinances. Such enforcement actions may include, but are not limited to the following:
      • Discontinuation of water and sewer service.
      • Assessment of civil penalties as outlined in the City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances.
      • Assessment of the City’s cleanup, repair and other costs of response to noncompliance
      • Coordinate prosecution for criminal violations, including falsification of records.
      • Abatement of a violation as a nuisance.
      The SRU director or his designee will use his discretion in making enforcement decisions. Penalties. In the assessment of penalties, the director will usually assess smaller penalties (generally $500 or less) for minor violations and larger penalties (generally more than $500 and up to the maximum amount authorized by ordinance) for major violations.
      Minor violations may include the following:
      1. Failure to maintain and/or submit records
      2. Inspection hindrance (parked vehicles over interceptors, supplies or stored items blocking grease trap lid, etc.)
      3. Failure to maintain grease interceptor/trap
      4. Failure to repair necessary equipment (sanitary tees, grease interceptor not watertight, baffles, etc.)
      Major violations may include the following:
      1. Failure to install grease interceptor or trap
      2. Causing or contributing to sewer blockage
      3. Causing or contributing to sanitary sewer overflow
      4. Falsification of maintenance records
      Description of Violations Grease Trap
      (generally under 500 gals)
      Grease Interceptor
      (generally over 500 gals)
      Failure to maintain and/or submit records (if provided within 5 business days - fees waived) $100.00 per missing record $100.00 per missing record
      Inspection Hindrance $100.00 $100.00
      Failure to maintain grease device $100.00 per maintenance event skipped $500.00 per maintenance event skipped
      Failure to repair necessary equipment (fees double for each corrective action deadline not met) $100.00 $250.00
      Failure to install grease interceptor/trap Up to $5,000.00 Up to $25,000.00
      Causing or contributing to a sewer blockage Up to $5,000.00 Up to $5,000.00
      Causing or contributing to a sanitary sewer overflow Up to $5,000.00 Up to $5,000.00
      Falsification of records $100.00 per instance $100.00 per instance
      **Chronic non-compliance may be subject to the discontinuation of water/sewer services in addition to the above noted penalties NOTE: Enforcement actions are not limited to grease interceptor/trap violations. For example, grease interceptors/traps are not required for apartment buildings and/or high density residential units; however, if an apartment building and/or high density residential area is found to be responsible for causing or contributing to a blockage or sanitary sewer overflow, enforcement action may include: ordering the cleaning of all sanitary waste lines throughout the property, assessment of penalties, and other actions.
      Appeals. Appeals procedures are provided by the City of Salisbury Code of Ordinances.
    7. Education Program
      SRU semi-annually distributes FOG educational materials. SRU also sends educational materials on an as-needed basis to targeted areas or users based on the occurrence of grease-related blockages in the SRU sewer system. The educational materials may include helpful tips for reducing the discharge of FOG to the sanitary sewer and the impacts of FOG to the sanitary sewer.
      Frequently Asked FOG Questions
      Q: What is FOG?
      A: FOG stands for Fat, Oil, Grease and wax that are discharged to the sanitary sewer – most often from food preparation activities.
      Q: What are the impacts of FOG?
      A: FOG can clog sanitary sewer lines and cause overflows that can affect public health and the environment and increase operating costs. The majority of sanitary sewer backups occur in private drain lines between homes or businesses and the City’s sanitary sewer system. The property owner is responsible for these private lines. Improper management of FOG by sewer users, primarily restaurants and other food service establishments has become a significant problem for wastewater collection and treatment systems. FOG can coat, congeal in, and accumulate in pipes, pumps, and equipment. By 2008, according to the North Carolina Division of Water Resources (DWR), about 500 sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) per year in NC were attributed to the effects of FOG. When SSOs occur, raw sewage spills onto the ground and sometimes reaches waterways. As a result of the increasing number of SSOs caused by FOG, the Environmental Protection Agency and the DWR have developed new requirements for municipalities that operate collection systems.
      Q: Why was the FOG Control Program created?
      A: Salisbury’s FOG Control Program is a state and federal mandate and is required by the Wastewater Collection System Permit Number WQCS00019 issued to the City of Salisbury by the State. The FOG Control Program will help protect sewers against harmful accumulations of FOG. The FOG Control Program is discussed in a document (available from SRU) called the FAT, OIL, GREASE AND WAX (FOG) CONTROL PROGRAM USER GUIDANCE DOCUMENT AND SRU IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
      Q: What are the Elements of the FOG Control Program?
      A: The Program includes, among others, the following elements:
      • City ordinances
      • City of Salisbury Uniform Construction Standards for grease interceptors and grease traps
      • The SRU Implementation Plan that outlines the SRU plan for complying with its collection< system permit and for satisfying the duties assigned by City ordinance and exercising its authority delegated by City ordinance
      The Program requires all food service establishments (and other sewer users that discharge excessive FOG) to operate and maintain an SRU-approved grease interceptor or trap at their own expense. Grease interceptors and traps are designed to capture FOG, solids, and other debris before they enter a sewer, where they become a problem by clogging sewers and disrupting water flow. The grease interceptors/traps capture those wastes and contain them until a septage management firm can properly dispose of them.
      Q. "Do I have a grease trap or interceptor?"
      A. If you are not sure, please contact a local plumber for assistance
      Q. "Do I need a grease trap or interceptor?"
      A. Grease interceptors or traps are required for all food service establishments (not just restaurants) and all sewer users that discharge excessive FOG.
      Q. "What is the difference between grease traps and interceptors?"
      A. Both grease interceptors and traps are designed to remove FOG from the wastewater before it enters the City’s sanitary sewer collection system. The main difference between the two is their size. An interceptor is normally 500 gallons or larger and typically located outside. A grease trap is normally 100 gallons or smaller and can be located either outside or indoors.
      Q. "How often should I service my grease interceptor?"
      A. The requirements are located in Sec. III (C) and (C)(5) of the Salisbury-Rowan Utilities Fat, Oil, Grease and Wax (FOG) Control Program User Guidance Document and Implementation Plan, or as otherwise directed by SRU personnel.
      Q. "What size grease trap should I have?"
      A. SRU requires that grease interceptors provide a minimum of 24 minutes hydraulic detention time between the influent and effluent baffles with 25 percent of the total volume of the grease interceptor being allowed for sludge storage. Details are found in the City’s Uniform Construction Standards Manual
      Q. "What kinds of problems do oil and grease cause?"
      A. Oil and grease build up in sewer lines reduces the system's capacity and can cause a blockage. Blockages may result in sewer backups and overflows, increased maintenance costs, and equipment downtime and possible property damage
      Q. "Isn't my business grand-fathered in under the old rules?"
      A. A food service establishment in operation on April 7, 2009 has until April 7, 2012, to install a grease interceptor or trap, unless an earlier date is necessary to remedy interference with the operation or maintenance of a sewer
      Q. "Will a garbage disposal affect a grease interceptor?"
      A. Absolutely. The ground-up solids that go through the disposal will settle to the bottom of the grease interceptor and reduce its efficiency. The increased loading will also lead to increased maintenance frequency and cost.
      Q. "My restaurant doesn't have space to install an exterior in-ground grease interceptor. Are there other options?"
      A. Although grease interceptors are preferred based on ease of operation, maintenance, and reliability, this Program also allows for the use of grease traps where appropriate
      Q. "How do I have an interceptor or trap installed?"
      A. Most NC licensed plumbers and plumbing contractors install grease interceptors and traps. All grease interceptors and traps must be approved by the City prior to installation.
      Q. “If I own an apartment complex, will I be required to install a grease interceptor?”
      A. Maybe. If there is an excessive discharge of FOG, an interceptor or trap will be required. In addition, other measures may be required to address FOG problems, such as distribution to residents of educational materials
      Q. “Who do I contact for questions and information regarding this Program and other FOG issues?”
      A. Please contact Salisbury-Rowan Utilities, Environmental Services Division at (704) 638-5375
  • Grease Interceptor - A device utilized to effect the separation of grease and oils in wastewater effluent. Such interceptors may be of the "outdoor" or "underground" type normally of a 500 gallons or more capacity.
  • Grease Trap - A device utilized to effect the separation of grease and oils in wastewater effluent. Such traps are the "under-the-counter" type normally 100 gallons or less capacity.
GREASE INTERCEPTOR SIZING CRITERIA
How to Determine the Size of an Exterior, In-ground Grease Interceptor Using the Manning Formula: The formula for calculating grease interceptor sizing is:
Gallons of interceptor = [[GPM/fixture x total # fixture ratings of grease-laden waste streams] + direct flow from a dishwasher, can wash, mop sink (in GPM)]] x 24 minute retention time
or Gallons of interceptor = [(A x B) + C] x D Components of equation:
A = GPM/fixture (drain line) – This is derived from the Manning Formula. It takes into account the slope, roughness of the pipe (plastic) used, and pipe diameter size. When applying the Manning Formula, we arrive at the drainage rates of various pipe diameter sizes:
0.5 inch pipe diameter = 0.8 GPM/fixture (drain line)
1.0 inch pipe diameter = 5.0 GPM/fixture (drain line)
1.5 inch pipe diameter = 15 GPM/fixture (drain line)
2.0 inch pipe diameter = 33 GPM/fixture (drain line)
2.5 inch pipe diameter = 59 GPM/fixture (drain line)
3.0 inch pipe diameter = 93 GPM/fixture (drain line)
B = Fixture Ratings of Grease-Laden Waste Streams: Fixtures that have more grease in their waste stream received higher values while less grease corresponds to a lower value. The table is shown below: Table of Common Commercial Kitchen Fixtures and their Corresponding Rating (each):
2, 3, or 4 compartment pot sink = 1.0
1 or 2 compartment meat prep sink = 0.75
Pre-rinse sink = 0.5
1 or 2 compartment vegetable prep sink = 0.25
C = Direct Flow from Dishwasher, Can Wash, and Mop Sink (in GPM): Use the following gpm values: Dishwasher = 10 GPM, can wash and mop sink = 6 GPM.
D = (24) Twenty-four minute retention time
Example #1: A restaurant has the following fixtures in their kitchen:
  • (1) 3-compartment pot sink, 1.5 inch waste drain
  • 1 pre-rinse sink, 1.5 inch waste drain
  • (1) 1-compartment meat prep sink, 1.5 inch waste drain
  • (1) 1-compartment vegetable prep sink, 1.5 inch waste drain
  • (1) can wash (use 6 gpm)
Using the formula to size exterior grease interceptors, we get:
Gallons needed for grease interceptor
=[15 GPM x [1 + 0.5 + 0.75 + 0.25] + 6 GPM] x 24 minutes
=[[15 GPM x 2.50] + 6 GPM] x 24 minutes
=[37.5 GPM + 6 GPM] x 24 minutes
=43.5 GPM x 24 minutes
=1,044 gallons Use 1,000 gallon interceptor size
Example #2: A restaurant has the following fixtures:
GPM x Grease Factor
(1) 3 Compartment Pot Sink, 2.0 inch waste drain 33x1.0 = 33.00 GPM
(1) 1 Compartment Prep Sink (Meat), 1.5 inch waste drain 15x0.75= 11.25 GPM
(1) 1 Compartment Prep Sink (Vegetable), 1.5 inch waste drain 15x0.25= 3.75 GPM
(1) Pre-rinse Sink, 2.0 inch waste drain 33x0.5 = 16.50 GPM
(1) Dishwasher (use 10 gpm) 10.00 GPM
(1) Mop Sink, 3 inch waste drain (use 6 gpm) 6.00 GPM
Total 80.50 GPM

Using the formula to size exterior grease interceptors, we get:
Total GPM x 24 minutes = 1,932 gallons Use 2,000 gallon interceptor size

Interceptor sizes less than 1,000 gallons, round up to the nearest tank size available. Interceptor sizes greater than 1,000 gallons, round to the nearest tank size available, but no more than 10% smaller.

MINIMUM DESIGN AND STRUCTURAL CRITERIA FOR EXTERIOR GREASE INTERCEPTORS

All Food Service Establishments and other users as required by ordinance shall have grease-handling facilities installed and maintained, at the user’s expense. Common grease interceptors, or grease interceptors that receive FOG laden wastewater from more than one establishment, are prohibited.

Note: Contact the Rowan County Building Inspections Department at (704) 216-8619 and the Rowan County Health Department at (704) 216-8525 for requirements that this activity may be subject to.

Exterior, in-ground grease interceptors are the preferred device for grease retention in food service facilities. Grease traps will be allowed in cases where exterior, in-ground grease interceptors are infeasible to install (see FOG Control Program User Guidance Document and SRU Implementation Plan, Section III.C). Approval from the Director must be received prior to installation.

Strip Centers with the Potential for Food Service Establishments: All new buildings or strip centers containing sections designated for commercial enterprise of the strip center are encouraged to provide a stub-out for a separate waste line for future grease interceptor installation. The owner of a new strip center shall consider suitable physical property space and sewer gradient that will be conducive for the installation of an exterior, in-ground grease interceptor(s) for any flex space contained within the strip center. Physical Property Restrictions and sewer gradient shall not be a defense for new strip centers that fail to install an exterior, in-ground grease interceptor. A lack of proper planning for future installations of exterior, in-ground grease interceptors could result in a significant increase in costs due to retrofitting facilities for the installation of a grease interceptor. In addition, facilities that may not be required to install a grease trap or interceptor initially, may be required to install such devices in the future, per Section 25-202(i), Article VIII, Chapter 25 of the Code of the City of Salisbury, and are encouraged to consider the installation of a grease trap or interceptor during construction due to the costs of retrofitting facilities.

New exterior, in-ground grease interceptors shall be constructed in accordance with the criteria as set forth in this Plan unless otherwise approved by the Director.

Grease Interceptors shall conform to Chapter 10, Sec. 1003 of the North Carolina Plumbing Code and shall be designed and constructed according to the latest publications of ASTM C 1613 Standard Specification for Precast Concrete Grease Interceptor Tanks or ASTM F 2649 Standard Specification for Corrugated High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Grease Interceptor Tanks except for the following requirements or other designs specifically approved by the Director:

  1. Grease interceptors shall receive kitchen wastes. Kitchen wastes include, but are not limited to: 2, 3 and 4-compartment sinks, pot sinks, prep. sinks, can wash, and floor drains and any other fixtures with the potential to discharge grease-laden wastewater. Domestic wastelines shall not be connected to grease interceptor service.
  2. Interceptors shall be sized according to the Grease Interceptor Sizing Criteria.
  3. At least one baffle wall shall be provided and shall be located a distance from inlet wall of 2/3 to 3/4 of the total length of the interceptor.
  4. Each grease interceptor shall have inlet and outlet tees. The outlet tee shall be submerged to a depth of 12 inches above the tank floor. It shall extend a minimum of 5 inches above the liquid level.
  5. Grease interceptors may not be installed in drive thru lanes and parking spaces unless prior approval is granted by the Director.
  6. Cleanouts shall be installed on the inlet and outlet sides of the interceptor and extended to grade. Cleanouts shall be installed in accordance with the latest edition of the NC Plumbing Code.
  7. Grease interceptors shall be vented in accordance with the NC Plumbing Code with a minimum 2" diameter vent piping.
  8. Cast-in-place and masonry tanks shall be designed by a professional engineer licensed in the state of North Carolina.

See “STANDARD DRAWINGS” section below.

MINIMUM DESIGN CRITERIA FOR GREASE TRAPS

For cases in which exterior type grease interceptors are infeasible to install, there must be installed a grease trap sufficient to properly treat the wastewater from all fixtures that have the potential to discharge wastewater that contains fat, oil, grease, or wax. Approval to install a grease trap in lieu of a grease interceptor must be granted by the Director prior to installation.

All grease trap plans and specifications shall be approved by SRU prior to installation.

Note: Contact the Rowan County Building Inspections Department at (704) 216-8619 and the Rowan County Health Department at (704) 216-8525 for requirements that this activity may be subject to.

Grease traps shall conform to Chapter 10, Sec. 1003 of the North Carolina Plumbing Code when being designed and constructed and shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. See “STANDARD DRAWINGS” section below.

All grease traps shall be sized according to table 1003.3.4.1 of the North Carolina Plumbing Code (see table below).

Table 1003.3.4.1 North Carolina Plumbing Code Capacity of Grease Traps

Total Flow-through Grease Retention Capacity
Rating (gpm) (pounds)
4……………………………8
6……………………………12
7……………………………14
9……………………………18
10…………………………..20
12…………………………..24
14…………………………..28
15…………………………..30
18…………………………..36
20…………………………..40
25…………………………..50
35…………………………..70
50…………………………..100

INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS FOR GREASE INTERCEPTORS AND TRAPS

All grease interceptors and traps shall be installed by a licensed North Carolina Plumbing Contractor and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Grease interceptors and traps shall be installed in such a way as to be readily accessible at all times for inspection and/or maintenance.

Grease Interceptors

GI Sizing Criteria

GI Sizing Criteria PDF

How to Determine the Size of an Exterior, In-ground Grease Interceptor Using the Manning Formula:

The formula for calculating grease interceptor sizing is:

Gallons of interceptor = [[(1) = GPM/fixture (derived from Manning formula) x (2) = total # fixture ratings of grease-laden waste streams] + (3) direct flow from a dishwasher, can wash, mop sink (in GPM)]] x (4) = 24 minute retention time

Components of equation =

  1. GPM/fixture – This is derived from the Manning Formula. It takes into account the slope, roughness of the pipe (plastic) used, and pipe diameter size. When applying the Manning Formula, we arrive at the drainage rates of various pipe diameter sizes:
    0.5 inch pipe diameter = 0.8 GPM/fixture
    1.0 inch pipe diameter = 5.0 GPM/fixture
    1.5 inch pipe diameter = 15 GPM/fixture
    2.0 inch pipe diameter = 33 GPM/fixture
    2.5 inch pipe diameter = 59 GPM/fixture
    3.0 inch pipe diameter = 93 GPM/fixture
  2. Fixture Ratings of Grease-Laden Waste Streams: Fixtures that have more grease in their waste stream received higher values while less grease corresponds to a lower value. The table is shown below:
    Table of Common Commercial Kitchen Fixtures and their Corresponding Rating (each):
    2, 3, or 4 compartment pot sink = 1.0
    1 or 2 compartment meat prep sink = 0.75
    Pre-rinse sink = 0.5
    1 or 2 compartment vegetable prep sink = 0.25
  3. Direct Flow from Dishwasher, Can Wash, and Mop Sink: Use the following gpm values: Dishwasher = 10 gpm, can wash and mop sink = 6 gpm.
  4. Twenty-four minute retention time: Engineers have determined that when applying several criteria to determine proper grease (animal and vegetable lipids) separation (using Stoke’s Law, specific gravity of lipids, etc.), a twenty-four minute retention time is required.
  5. Example #1: A restaurant has the following fixtures in their kitchen:
    • (1) 3-compartment pot sink, 1.5 inch waste drain
    • 1 pre-rinse sink, 1.5 inch waste drain
    • (1) 1-compartment meat prep sink, 1.5 inch waste drain
    • (1) 1-compartment vegetable prep sink, 1.5 inch waste drain
    • (1) can wash (use 6 gpm)

    Using the formula to size exterior grease interceptors, we get:

    Gallons needed for grease interceptor
    =[[15 GPM x [1 + 0.5 + 0.75 + 0.25] + 6 GPM] x 24 minutes
    =[[15 GPM x 2.50] + 6 GPM] x 24 minutes
    =[37.5 GPM + 6 GPM] x 24 minutes
    =43.5 GPM x 24 minutes
    =1,044 gallons Use 1,000 gallon interceptor size

    Example #2: A restaurant has the following fixtures:

    GPM x Grease Factor
    • (1) 3 Compartment Pot Sink, 2.0 inch waste drain 33 x 1.0 = 33.00 gpm
    • (1) 1 Compartment Prep Sink (Meat), 1.5 inch waste drain 15 x 0.75 = 11.25 gpm
    • (1) 1 Compartment Prep Sink (Vegetable), 1.5 inch waste drain 15 x 0.25 = 3.75 gpm
    • (1) Pre-rinse Sink, 2.0 inch waste drain 33 x 0.5 = 16.50 gpm
    • (1) Dishwasher (use 10 gpm) 10.00 gpm
    • (1) Mop Sink, 3 inch waste drain (use 6 gpm) 6.00 gpm
    • Total 80.50 gpm

    Using the formula to size exterior grease interceptors, we get:
    80.50 gpm x 24 minutes = 1,932 gallons Use 2,000 gallon interceptor size

Grease Interceptor Sizing Worksheet

SS-GA Grease Interceptor

Grease Traps

GT Minimum Design Criteria

GT Minimum Design Criteria PDF

For cases in which exterior type grease interceptors are infeasible to install, there must be installed a grease trap sufficient to properly treat the wastewater from all fixtures that have the potential to discharge wastewater that contains fat, oil, grease, or wax. Approval to install a grease trap in lieu of a grease interceptor must be granted by the Director prior to installation.

All grease trap plans and specifications shall be approved by SRU prior to installation. Note: Contact the Rowan County Building Inspections Department at (704) 216-8619 and the Rowan County Health Department at (704) 216-8525 for requirements that this activity may be subject to.

Grease traps shall conform to Chapter 10, Sec. 1003 of the North Carolina Plumbing Code when being designed and constructed and shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. See “STANDARD DRAWINGS” section below.

All grease traps shall be sized according to table 1003.3.4.1 of the North Carolina Plumbing Code (see table below).

Table 1003.3.4.1 North Carolina Plumbing Code
Capacity of Grease Traps
Total Flow-through Grease Retention Capacity
Rating (gpm) (pounds)
4……………………………8
6……………………………12
7……………………………14
9……………………………18
10…………………………..20
12…………………………..24
14…………………………..28
15…………………………..30
18…………………………..36
20…………………………..40
25…………………………..50
35…………………………..70

Grease Trap Calculator

PDI Sizing Procedures

PDI-G101

SS-8B Grease Trap

Food Service Establishments

Food Service Establishments (FSE) include, but are not limited to: restaurants, commercial kitchens, caterers, hotels, cafeterias, delicatessens, meatcutting facilities, bakeries, ice cream parlors, cafes, hospitals, daycares, schools, bars, correctional facilities, and care institutions.

FSE Grease Interceptor/Grease Trap Verification Form

Verification Form PDF

This form is to be used to document the estimated volume of a food service establishment’s existing grease interceptor or grease trap. This form must be completed by a NC permitted grease waste hauler, a NC licensed plumber, or a NC professional engineer and returned to SRU.

FSE Grease Interceptor/Grease Trap Record Form

Record Form PDF

Per Section III.D.3. of the Salisbury-Rowan Utilities FOG Control Program User Guidance Document and SRU Implementation Plan, all service records must be maintained on site and made available for inspection upon request by SRU for 3 years from date of service.

What does this mean for my business?

The FOG Control Program requires all food service establishments to operate and maintain a properly sized grease interceptor or trap. These devices are designed to prevent grease, oil, solids, and other debris from entering the sanitary sewer from kitchen sinks, fixtures, and drains. Please note: These devices are not the same as waste fryer oil bins.

What do I need to do?

All food service establishments are required to operate and maintain an approved grease interceptor or trap. FIRST, you need to know whether or not you have a grease interceptor or trap. SRU personnel can perform a visual inspection or you can contact a local plumber for help.

What if I do not have a grease interceptor or trap?

The FOG Control Program allows existing businesses (that do not have an approved device) until April 7, 2012 to install an approved grease interceptor or trap. Please contact SRU or your local zoning office for specifics on the plan review and submittal process.

What do I need to do if I have a grease interceptor or trap?

SRU needs to know what size interceptor or trap you currently have. Please obtain a *Grease Interceptor/Trap Verification Form from SRU. This form must be completed by a NC licensed plumber, a NC professional engineer, or a NC permitted grease waste hauler that can verify the volume of your device. *Existing service records from a NC permitted grease waste hauler indicating the volume of waste removed from an interceptor or trap may be submitted in lieu of this form.

Maintenance and Record Keeping

Maintenance Schedules
Regular maintenance is essential for grease interceptors and traps to function properly. The FOG Control Program has set minimum pumping schedules for each device. Please follow these minimum pumping frequencies as outlined in the FOG Program document.
Record Keeping
Implement a record keeping system (SRU can help). The FOG Control Program requires specific information to be kept on service records each time a grease interceptor or trap is pumped. This information should be documented on a FSE Service Record Form available from SRU. The service company can provide their own service record as long as the required information is included. Service records must be kept on-site for three (3) years.

What should I expect?

SRU personnel will be contacting food service owners and managers to schedule on-site inspections. At this inspection, you will be given specific information about the new FOG Control Program and we will answer any questions you may have. We will also inspect your facility as well as the grease interceptor and/or grease trap.

How will SRU assist me?

SRU understands that new regulations and requirements are not always easy to adjust to, that’s why we are committed to working with you to help you meet the standards of the FOG Control Program. Here are some ways in which we can provide assistance:
  • Provide you with plenty of time to meet the new standards.
  • Provide a financial incentive program for existing facilities that do not have a grease interceptor or trap.
  • Provide helpful resources for you to get the information you need.

What paperwork will I need?

Grease Interceptor/Trap Verification Form
Used to verify the volume of an existing grease interceptor or trap. Must be completed by one of the following: a NC licensed plumber, a NC professional engineer, or a NC permitted grease waste hauler. These forms are provided on this webpage, or you can contact SRU for a paper version.
Service Records
This can be provided by the grease waste hauler as long as all required information is included or you may use the form provided by SRU.

Best Management Practices

Residual fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are by-products that food service establishments must constantly manage. Typically, FOG enter a facility’s plumbing system from ware washing, floor cleaning, and equipment sanitation. Sanitary sewer systems are neither designed nor equipped to handle the FOG that accumulates on the interior of the municipal sewer collection system pipes. Over 30% of North Carolina’s 1999 sanitary sewer overflows were the result of pipe blockages from FOG accumulation from residential, institutional and commercial sources. The best way to manage FOG is to keep the material out of the plumbing systems. The following are suggestions for proper FOG management.

Dry Clean-Up

Practice dry cleanup. Remove food waste with “dry” methods such as scraping, wiping, or sweeping before using “wet” methods that use water. Wet methods typically wash the water and waste materials into the drains where it eventually collects on the interior walls of the drainage pipes. Do not pour grease, fats or oils from cooking down the drain and do not use the sinks to dispose of food scraps. Likewise it is important to educate kitchen staff not to remove drain screens as this may allow paper or plastic cups, straws, and other utensils to enter the plumbing system during clean up. The success of dry clean up is dependent upon the behavior of the employee and availability of the tools for removal of food waste before washing. To practice dry clean up:

  • Use rubber scrapers to remove fats, oils and grease from cookware, utensils, chafing dishes, and serving ware.
  • Use food grade paper to soak up oil and grease under fryer baskets.
  • Use paper towels to wipe down work areas. Cloth towels will accumulate grease that will eventually end up in your drains from towel washing/rinsing.
Spill Prevention

Preventing spills reduces the amounts of waste on food preparation and serving areas that will require clean up. A dry workplace is safer for employees in avoiding slip, trips, and falls. For spill prevention:

  • Empty containers before they are full to avoid spills.
  • Use a cover to transport interceptor contents to rendering barrel.
  • Provide employees with the proper tools (ladles, ample containers, etc.) to transport materials without spilling.
Maintenance

Maintenance is key to avoiding FOG blockages. For whatever method or technology is used to collect, filter and store FOG, ensure that equipment is regularly maintained. All staff should be aware of and trained to perform correct cleaning procedures, particularly for under-sink interceptors that are prone to break down due to improper maintenance. A daily and weekly maintenance schedule is highly recommended.

Contact with a management company to professionally clean large hood filters. Small hoods can be hand-cleaned with spray detergents and wiped down with cloths for cleaning. Hood filters can be effectively cleaned by routinely spraying with hot water with little or no detergents over the mop sink that should be connected to a grease trap. After hot water rinse (separately trapped), filter panels can go into the dishwasher. For hoods to operate properly in the removal of grease-laden vapors, the ventilation system will also need to be balanced with sufficient make-up air.

Division of Environmental Health
  • Skim/filter fryer grease daily and change oil when necessary. Use a test kit provided by your grocery distributor rather than simply a “guess” to determine when to change oil. This extends the life of both the fryer and the oil. Build-up of carbon deposits on the bottom of the fryer act as an insulator that forces the fryer to heat longer, thus causing the oil to break down sooner.
  • Collect fryer oil in an oil rendering tank for disposal or transport it to a bulk oil rendering tank instead of discharging it into a grease interceptor or waste drain.
  • Cleaning intervals depend upon the type of food establishment involved. Some facilities require monthly or once every two months cleaning. Establishments that operate a large number of fryers or handle a large amount of fried foods such as chicken, along with ethnic food establishments may need at least monthly cleanings. Full-cleaning of grease traps (removing all liquids and solids and scraping the walls) is a worthwhile investment. Remember, sugars, starches and other organics accumulate from the bottom up. If sediment is allowed to accumulate in the trap, it will need to be pumped more frequently.
  • Develop a rotation system if multiple fryers are in use. Designate a single fryer for products that are particularly high in deposits, and change that one more often.
Oil & Grease Collection/Recycling & Food Donations

FOG are commodities that if handled properly can be treated as a valuable resource.

  • Begin thinking of oil and grease as a valuable commodity. Some rendering companies will offer services free-of-charge and others will give a rebate on the materials collected. Note that these companies must be properly permitted by the Division of Waste Management, Solid Waste Section at 919.733.0692, in order to remove FOG from a facility. A list of grease collectors can be found in the Directory of Markets for Recyclable Materials at www.p2pays.org/DMRM or by calling DPPEA at 1.800.763.0136.
  • Use 25-gallon rendering barrels with covers for onsite collection of oil and grease other than from fryers. Educate kitchen staff on the importance of keeping outside barrels covered at all times. During storms, uncovered or partially covered barrels allow storm water to enter the barrel resulting in oil running onto the ground and possibly into storm drains, and can “contaminate” an otherwise useful by-product.
  • Use a 3-compartment sink for ware washing. Begin with a hot pre-wash, then a scouring sink with detergent, then a rinse sink.
  • Make sure all drain screens are installed.
  • Prior to washing and rinsing use a hot water ONLY (no detergent) prerinse that is separately trapped to remove nonemulsified oils and greases from ware washing. Wash and rinse steps should also be trapped.
  • Empty grill top scrap baskets or scrap boxes and hoods into the rendering barrel.
  • Easy does it! Instruct staff to be conservative about their use of fats, oils and grease in food preparation and serving.
  • Ensure that edible food is not flushed down your drains. Edible food waste may be donated to a local food bank. Inedible food waste can be collected by a local garbage feeder who will use food discards for feeding livestock. Food donation is a win-win situation. It helps restaurants reduce disposal costs and it puts the food in the hands of those who can use it. Check theDirectory of Markets for Recyclable Materials for a list of food waste collectors.
Grease Traps
  • For grease traps to be effective, the units must be properly sized, constructed, and installed in a location to provide an adequate retention time for settling and accumulation of the FOG. If the units are too close to the FOG discharge and do not have enough volume to allow amassing of the FOG, the emulsified oils will pass through the unit without being captured. For information on properly locating, constructing, and sizing grease traps, contact your local county and city representatives and examine EPA guidance documents.
  • Ensure all grease-bearing drains discharge to the grease trap. These include mop sinks, woks, wash sinks, prep sinks, utility sinks, pulpers, dishwashers, prerinse sinks, can washes, and floor drains in food preparation areas such as those near a fryer or tilt/steam kettle. No toilet wastes should be plumbed to the grease trap.
  • If these suggested best management practices do not adequately reduce FOG levels, the operator may consider installing a second grease trap with flow-through venting. This system should help reduce grease effluent substantially.
Consumer Tip

Buyer beware! When choosing a method of managing your oil and grease, ensure that it does what the vendor says it will do. Some technologies or “miracle cures” don’t eliminate the problem but result in grease accumulations further down the sewer line. “Out of sight” is not “out of mind.” Check the vendor’s references.

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