Oil and Grease Pollution prevention focuses on the elimination or reduction of waste before it is generated through changes in production, operation and raw material use.
Managing waste after it occurs may be costly and time consuming. Adopting pollution prevention is key to saving money, resources and to improving the quality of the environment. The City of Red Oake Public Works Department is committed to protecting the City’s sewer system by encouraging and awarding those who take the extra step in preventing pollution.
Animal fats and vegetable oils, also known as grease for example, are some of the most common pollutants of the sewer system. Grease is the result of cooking and occurs naturally in many types of food. Grease enters the sanitary sewer as a result of food preparation and the washing of dishes, silverware, pots, pans and other equipment. Animal fats and vegetable oils go down the drain, where they cool and eventually solidify (fats and oils do not mix with water). Over time the sewer pipe’s diameter is significantly reduced by the accumulation of grease. Petroleum oils and byproducts from automotive repair facilities and car washes may also cause grease problems in the sewer system.
Residential, commercial and industrial facilities generate grease. Single-family homes, apartment complexes, restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, airports, food processing plants, car washes and automotive service stations are just a few of the potential sources.
Grease traps are designed to separate out the fats, oils, grease and solids from the wastewater discharged into the sanitary sewer system. The City of Red Oak requires restaurants, food processing facilities, automotive repair facilities, car washes, commercial laundries and all other facilities that the City deems necessary to install and maintain grease or grit traps. It is the responsibility of the generators to ensure that their grease/grit traps, and the wastewater discharged from them, are in compliance with all City requirements.
Grease Trap Maintenance
In order to function properly fats, oils, grease and solids must be cleaned from a grease trap on a regular basis. Red Oak Ordinance states that liquid waste facilities (grease traps) shall be maintained in continuous, proper working order. Grease traps shall be one hundred percent (100%) pumped out at least once every ninety (90) days, and at all other times as necessary to maintain their effectiveness. The City may order a generator to have its grease traps pumped out more frequently if the City determines that it is necessary for the protection of the sanitary sewer.
Failure to properly clean and maintain a grease trap is a violation of the City Ordinance and may subject the violators to penalties of up to $2,000 per violation per day.