Why is grease a problem?
Grease is a problem because it can cause blockages in sewer collection lines resulting in overflows of wastewater from the collection system. These overflows can potentially result in damage to property and/or environmental contamination of local bodies of water. Grease can adversely impact our wastewater collection system, equipment, and grease may also encumber wastewater treatment plants abilities to adequately treat the wastewater it receives. Although many believe pouring warm liquid grease down a drain is not harmful, once the grease cools, it hardens and may result in the blockages and overflows as describe above.
What is a grease trap/grease interceptor?
The name grease trap or grease interceptor is often used interchangeably. These devices are utilized to allow for the separation of fats, oils and greases in wastewater discharges from food service establishments and/or other type grease and oil generating establishments. Such traps or interceptors may be the “outdoor” or in-ground type normally 1,000 gallons capacity or greater, or the “under-the-counter” package units normally referred to as the under-the-counter grease traps.
Do I need a grease trap?
Any Food Service Establishment (FSE) that introduces grease or oil discharges from kitchens, dish washing and any wastewater that is associated with food preparation should have a grease trap. This excludes residential occupancies that do not participate in the selling or preparation of food for commercial gain or business.
Is the grease trap I have adequate?
That depends on the discharge flow from the establishment and the amount of grease contained in the wastewater that discharges into the trap. The Universal Plumbing Code states that no grease trap should have a capacity less than 20 gallons per minute or more than 55 gallons per minute. Internal traps will need to be assessed based on the number of water generated fixtures it serves. The amount of grease in the wastewater can impact whether or not the establishment grease trap is able prevent grease from being discharged into the collection system. The FSE may need to implement Best Management Practices (BMP) in managing the handling of fats, oils and grease.
I don’t know if I have a grease trap?
The first step is can you identify any under-the-counter containers where sinks and drains tie into? Check the plumbing drawing of the facility if available, to see if a grease trap is identified on the drawing. If you are still unsure you may wish to contact a plumber to assist you in tracing the discharge lines from the facility to see if they lead to a grease trap. Typically outside traps have manhole covers (some only one but typically two). Outside grease traps are typically close to the kitchen section of the facility.
What if I don’t have grease trap?
If your FSE discharges fats, oils and greases and does not have a grease trap eventually maintenance problems will occur with clogged sewer lines in the facility or backup situations in the wastewater collection lines in your service area. If you establishment is found to be the cause of such problems within the sewer service area based on the Town of Maggie Valley Sewer Use Ordinance, your establishment may be charged for any cost recovery associated with the maintenance and repair for any issues associated with the grease discharges. To prevent this the Town of Maggie Valley requires all FSEs to install some type of grease control device. This could be an in-ground outside trap or an approved under-the-counter unit(s).
How can I become compliant?
If there is no grease trap at the FSE, Town of Maggie Valley requires that all grease laden waste streams be tied into grease control device. The Town of Maggie Valley requires in-ground outside grease traps be no less than 1000 gallons. A guide sheet for sizing the grease trap is located in the Grease Control Program for your assistance. The FSE may want to utilize an engineer to assist with determining the proper size your FSE needs. Where it is determined by the Town that the installation of an approved in-ground outside grease trap is infeasible or physically impossible to install, then an adequate and approved under-the-counter grease trap may be required for use on individual fixtures including sinks, dishwashers, and other potentially grease containing drains. The location of these units must be located as near as possible to the source of the wastewater. Under-the-counter grease traps require more frequent maintenance and record-keeping.
Who is responsible for inspecting my grease trap?
The ultimate responsibility for inspecting your grease trap is the owner/user of the establishment. Town of Maggie Valley personnel perform routine inspections on all known in-ground outside grease traps and under–the-counter grease traps within its sewer service area. These inspections do not alleviate the owner/user of the establishment from the responsibility of inspecting or ensuring the FSE’s grease trap is operating and compliant.
What if my grease trap is found to be noncompliant by Town of Maggie Valley Sewer Inspector?
If the inspector finds that the grease trap is noncompliant, a notice of noncompliance will be left with the establishment. The notice will list the name of the establishment, the date and a deadline date for the noncompliant item(s) to be corrected. A typical notice requires that the owner/user list the name of the hauler, the date pumped, and where the grease pumped was hauled. This form should be completed and returned to Town of Maggie Valley. If the form is not returned, the establishment will be listed on a past due listing maintained by the Town of Maggie Valley; the past due listing may result in Town of Maggie Valley performing additional inspections to check compliance. If the establishment is found not to have complied with the notice of noncompliance, the Town of Maggie Valley may escalate enforcement.
What is escalated enforcement?
Escalated enforcement is taken against an FSE that does not comply with the requirements found in the Town of Maggie Valley Fats, Oils and Grease Control Program and/or does not comply with the requirements listed on the notice of noncompliance left by the Town of Maggie Valley Sewer Utility Inspector. Escalated enforcement can result in a civil penalty not exceeding $2000.00 per day of noncompliance. A civil penalty may be issued by Town of Maggie Valley for failure to comply and this failure shall be documented along with the assessed penalty with a deadline for payment unless otherwise documented.