Fat, oil and grease (FOG) is the leading cause of slow drains, backups and overflows in the sanitary sewer. Backups and overflows cause serious health hazards and can result in costly property damage and expensive, unpleasant cleanups.
The goal of the City of Olathe’s FOG Program is to minimize costs, and protect the environment by keeping fat, oil and grease from getting into the sewer system.
FOG Management for Food Service Facilities
A food service facility (FSF) is any place that prepares food for the public with or without charge.
City of Olathe Municipal Code requires that all food service facilities:
- Have a properly installed and maintained grease interceptor
- Verify that grease interceptors are maintained and functioning properly
- Keep a written maintenance log on site, including copies of receipts for interceptor repairs or maintenance.
Cleaning frequency for grease interceptors can depend on the size of the interceptor and amount of food prepared:
- Large exterior grease interceptors must be cleaned at least once every 90 days or before the interceptor is 25% full. FSFs must use a licensed sanitary disposal contractor for pumping, cleaning and disposal services.
- Smaller “point of use” interceptors (grease traps or under sink interceptors) must be cleaned before the interceptor is 25% full.
Read the Best Management Practices for tips on decreasing plumbing and disposal costs.
Grease interceptors are reservoirs that “intercept” grease by slowing the flow of wastewater, allowing FOG to float and solids to settle. Special piping and partial walls called baffles allow interceptors to retain FOG and solids, while allowing filtered wastewater to flow through to sanitary sewers. FOG and solids accumulate in the interceptor until it is pumped or cleaned.
Large Exterior Grease Interceptors
Large exterior grease interceptors are typically pre-cast concrete vaults, between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons, located underground in driveways or parking areas. Maintenance personnel access large interceptors through manholes. When a large interceptor is properly maintained, FOG is “intercepted” before it reaches the sanitary sewer.
Food service facilities (FSFs) must use a licensed sanitary disposal contractor to pump and clean large interceptors and dispose of any waste at least once every 90 days or before the interceptor is 25% full.
Point of Use Interceptors
Point of use interceptors (also known as grease traps) are small reservoirs installed in the wastewater piping. This interceptor is located inside, close to the grease producing fixture, often under sinks or in floors.
Food service facilities (FSFs) must completely clean point of use interceptors before the interceptor is 25% full of floating FOG or settled solids.
FSF staff who maintain the point of use interceptors should be trained on proper cleaning and disposal procedures and record keeping. Staff must record all cleaning and disposal in a maintenance log.
Best Management Practices
Food service facilities (FSFs) can decrease plumbing and disposal costs with the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs):
- Provide training. All employees should be trained to keep grease out of drains.
- Clean pots, pans and dishware of food garbage prior to dishwashing. Cleaning dishware of food garbage helps reduce clogs in grease interceptors.
- Post “No Grease” signs above sinks and on the front of dishwashers. Signs serve as a constant reminder to staff about the importance of keeping grease out of drains and toilets.
- Use water temperatures less than 140° in all sinks. Grease melted by hot water will go down the drain, but will solidify in the sewer system and cause clogs when it cools.
- Always recycle waste cooking oil. Recycle cooking oil (yellow grease) from deep fat fryers.
- Establish a cleaning schedule for grease traps and interceptors. Cleaning frequency for interceptors depends on the amount and type of food prepared, the size of the grease interceptor and grease management practices. At a minimum, FSFs must clean and pump interceptors before they are 25% full.
By following BMPs and keeping fat, oil and grease out of the sewer system, FSFs can prevent sewer backups, overflows and other negative impacts on the sewer system, Olathe residents and the environment.