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(a) Scope and purpose. To aid in the prevention of sanitary sewer blockages and obstructions from contribution and accumulation of fats, oils, and greases into such sewer system from industrial or commercial establishments, particularly food preparation and serving facilities.
(1) Fats, oils, and greases. Organic polar compounds derived from animal and/or plant sources that contain multiple carbon chain triglyceride molecules. These substances are detectable and measurable using analytical test procedures established in 40 CFR 136, as may be amended from time to time. All are sometimes referred to herein as "grease" or "greases".
(2) Grease trap or interceptor. A device for separating and retaining waterborne greases and grease complexes prior to the wastewater exiting the trap and entering the sanitary sewer collection and treatment system. These devices also serve to collect settleable solids, generated by and from food preparation activities, prior to the water exiting the trap and entering the sanitary sewer collection and treatment system. Grease traps and interceptors are sometimes referred to herein as "grease interceptors".
(3) Cooking establishments. Those establishments primarily engaged in activities of preparing, serving, or otherwise making available for consumption foodstuffs and that use one (1) of more of the following preparation activities: Cooking by frying (all methods), baking (all methods), grilling, sauteing, rotisserie cooking, broiling (all methods), boiling, blanching, roasting, toasting, or poaching. Also included are infrared heating, searing, barbecuing, and any other food preparation activity that produces a hot, non consumable food product in or on a receptacle that requires washing.
(4) Noncooking establishments. Those establishments primarily engaged in the preparation of precooked foodstuffs that do not include any form of cooking. These include but not limited to cold dairy and frozen foodstuffs preparation and serving establishments.
(5) Minimum design capability. The design features of a grease interceptor and its ability or volume required to effectively intercept and retain greases from grease-laden wastewaters discharged to the public sanitary sewer.
(6) User. Any person(s), individual, firm, company, association, society, corporation, organization, public corporation or group upon whose property the building or structure containing the food service establishment is located. Owner(s) shall also include the owner(s) of a food service establishment who may lease the building, structure, or a portion thereof, containing the food service establishment. This includes anyone located outside of the town's jurisdictional limits that contributes causes or permits the contribution or discharge of wastewater into the POTW, including persons who contribute such wastewater from mobile sources, such as those who discharge hauled wastewater.
(7) POTW staff. (POTW staff) public owned treatment works staff shall consist of Town of Surf City employees authorized by the Town of Surf City.
(8) Hydraulic load. At a minimum shall consist of all one, two, three and four compartment wash sinks filled to seventy-five (75) percent capacity and being drained simultaneously, prerinse sink operating at maximum flow, plus any dish or glass washing machine or other drainage fixture unit being operated at maximum rated performance levels.
(c) Food service establishment permit requirement.
(1) Grease interceptor requirements: All permitted food service establishments are required to install, operate, and maintain an approved type and adequately sized grease interceptor necessary to maintain compliance with the objectives of this section. All grease interceptors must meet the requirements of the town, Pender County and/or State of North Carolina Plumbing Code.
(2) Implementation: All new food service establishment facilities are subject to grease interceptor requirements. All such facilities must obtain prior approval from the public utilities director for grease interceptor sizing prior to submitting plans for building permit. All grease interceptors shall be readily and easily accessible for cleaning and inspection. Existing facilities with planned modification in plumbing improvements will be subject to comply with the grease interceptor requirements. These facilities must obtain approval from the public utilities director for grease interceptor sizing prior to submitting plans for a building permit. (All existing food service establishments, determined by the public utilities director to have a reasonable potential to adversely impact the town's sewer system will be notified of their obligation to install a grease interceptor within the specified period set forth in the notification letter.)
(3) Variance from grease interceptor requirements: Grease interceptors required under this section shall be installed unless the public utilities director authorizes the installation of an indoor grease trap or other alternative pretreatment technology and determines that the installation of a grease interceptor would not be feasible. The food service establishment bears the burden of demonstrating that the installation of a grease interceptor is not feasible. The public utilities director may authorize the installation of an indoor grease trap where the installation of a grease interceptor is not feasible due to space constraints or other considerations. If an establishment believes the installation of a grease interceptor is infeasible, because of documented space constraints, the request of an alternate grease removal device shall contain the following information:
a. Location of sewer main and easement in relation to available exterior space outside building.
b. Existing plumbing at or in a site that uses common plumbing for all services at that site.
(Alternative pretreatment technology includes, but is not limited to, devices that are used to trap, separate and hold grease from wastewater and prevent it from being discharged into the sanitary sewer collection system. All alternative pretreatment technology must be appropriately sized and approved by the public utilities director.)
(4) Installation and operation:
a. Permit to install must be obtained from the town public utilities prior to installation of any grease interceptor device. All interceptors must be in compliance with this section.
b. Permit to operate grease interceptor device will be issued once approval is given by the town public utilities director and Pender County Health Department.
(d) Discharge limitations. No user shall allow wastewater discharge concentration from subject grease interceptor, grease trap or alternative pretreatment technology to exceed that in accordance with the section 18-134(b)(3) and subsection (e), below.
(e) Grease interceptor requirements:
(1) Grease interceptor sizing and installation shall conform to this section.
(2) Grease interceptors shall be constructed in accordance with design approved by the public utilities director and shall have a minimum of two (2) compartments with fittings designed for grease retention.
(3) Grease interceptor shall be installed at a location where it shall be easily accessible for inspections, cleaning, and removal of intercepted grease. The grease interceptor may not be installed in any part of the building where food is handled. Location of the grease interceptor must meet the approval of the public utilities director and Pender County Health Department.
(4) All such grease interceptors shall be serviced and emptied of accumulated waste content as required in order to maintain minimum design capability or effective volume. These devices should be inspected at least monthly by user. Users who are required to maintain a grease interceptor shall:
a. Provide for a minimum hydraulic retention time in accordance with the Uniform Plumbing Code (or other applicable plumbing code used by local agency).
b. Remove any accumulated grease cap and sludge pocket as required. Grease interceptors shall be kept free of inorganic solid materials such as grit, rocks, gravel, sand, eating utensils, cigarettes, shells, towels, rags, etc., which could settle into this pocket and thereby reduce the effective volume of the device.
(5) The user shall maintain a written record of inspection and maintenance for three (3) years. All such records will be made available for on-site inspection by representative of the town during all operating hours of user.
(6) Sanitary wastes are not allowed to be connected to sewer lines intended for grease interceptor service.
(7) Except as provided herein, for a period of one (1) year following adoption of this section, although installation of grease interceptors will be required to be installed, no enforcement actions will be taken under this section for failure to achieve limits on grease discharges from grease interceptors. If, during this one (1) year period an obstruction of a sewer main(s) occurs that causes a sewer overflow to the extent that an impact on the environment is realized and that said overflow or failure of the sanitary sewer collection system to convey sewage can be attributed in part or in whole to an accumulation of grease in the sewer main(s), the town will take appropriate enforcement actions, as stipulated in the section 18-134(h) and/or 18-133(h), "Enforcement", against the generator or contributor of such grease.
(8) Access manholes, with a minimum diameter of twenty-four (24) inches, shall be provided over each grease interceptor chamber and sanitary tee. The access manholes shall extend at least to finished grade and be designed and maintained to prevent water inflow or infiltration. The manholes shall also have readily removable covers to facilitate inspection, grease removal, and wastewater sampling activities. Manhole covers must be traffic rated if placed within any parking areas. Manhole covers are to be of a weight class of less than one hundred (100) pounds.
(f) Grease trap requirements.
(1) Upon approval by the public utilities director, a grease trap complying with the provisions of this section must be installed in the waste line leading from sinks, drains, and other fixtures or equipment in food service establishments where grease may be introduced into the drainage or sewage system in quantities that can affect line stoppage or hinder sewage treatment or private sewage disposal.
(2) Grease traps sizing and installation shall conform to the Uniform Plumbing Code or other applicable plumbing code used by local agency.
(3) No grease trap shall be installed which has a stated rate flow of more than fifty-five (55) gallons per minute, nor less than twenty (20) gallons per minute, except when specifically approved by the public utilities director.
(4) Grease traps shall be maintained in efficient operating conditions by periodic removal of the accumulated grease. No such collected grease shall be introduced into any drainage piping, or public or private sewer.
(5) No food waste disposal unit or dishwasher shall be connected to or discharge into any grease trap.
(6) Wastewater in excess of one hundred-forty degrees Fahrenheit by sixty degrees Celsius (140°F)/(60°C) shall not be discharged into a grease trap.
(7) Except as provided herein, for a period of one (1) year following adoption of this section, although installation of grease traps will be required to be installed, no enforcement actions will be taken under this section for failure to achieve limits on grease discharges from grease interceptors. If, during this one (1) year period an obstruction of a sewer main(s) occurs that causes a sewer overflow to the extent that an impact on the environment is realized and that said overflow or failure of the sanitary sewer collection system to convey sewage can be attributed in part or in whole to an accumulation of grease in the sewer main(s), the town will take appropriate enforcement actions, as stipulated in the section 18-134(h) or as stipulated in 18-133(h), "Enforcement", against the generator or contributor of such grease.
(g) Grease interceptor maintenance, recordkeeping, and grease removal.
(1) Users shall install grease interceptors as required by the town. Grease interceptors shall be installed at the user's expense. Grease interceptors may also be required in noncooking or cold dairy and frozen food service establishments and other industrial or commercial establishments when they are deemed necessary by the town public utilities director for the proper handling of liquid wastes containing grease, no user shall allow wastewater discharge concentration from subject grease interceptor to exceed seventy-five(75) mg/l. All grease interceptors shall be of a type, design, and capacity approved by the town and shall be readily and easily accessible for user cleaning and town inspection. All such grease interceptors shall be serviced and emptied of accumulated waste content as required in order to maintain minimum design capability or effective volume of the grease interceptor, but not less often than every thirty (30) days. Users who are required to pass water through a grease interceptor shall:
a. Have a capacity and design in compliance with the following equations:
(S) X (20) x (HR/12) x (LF) = capacity in gallons
S = number of seats in dining area
HR = number of hours open
LF = loading factor:
1.27 Recreational areas
0.8 Main highways
0.7 Other highways
ii. Hospitals, nursing homes, other types of kitchens with varied seating capacity:
M x (5) x (LF) = capacity in gallons
M = meals per day
LF = loading factor
1.0 With dishwasher
0.5 Without dishwasher
Except that no grease trap shall be smaller than seven hundred fifty (750) gallons, no single separator shall be larger than three thousand (3,000) gallons and where requirements exceed three thousand (3,000) gallons multiple units shall be used. In cases of certain fast-food restaurants or establishments with potential to discharge large quantities of grease and oil, capacity requirements greater than twenty-five (25) gallons per seat may be required. Prepackaged or manufactured grease traps may be approved by the town with proper engineering and application review.
b. Remove any accumulated grease cap and sludge pocket as required, but at intervals of no longer than thirty (30) days at the user's expense. Grease interceptors shall be kept free of inorganic solid materials such as grit, rocks, gravel, sand, eating utensils, cigarettes, shells, towels, rags, etc., which could settle into this pocket and thereby reduce the effective volume of the grease interceptor.
c. Operate the grease interceptor in a manner so as to maintain said device such that attainment of the grease limit is consistently achieved. "Consistent" shall mean any wastewater sample taken from said grease interceptor shall be subject to terms of numerical limit attainment described in subsection (g)(1). If a previously established business desires, because of documented space constraints, an alternative to an out-of-building grease interceptor, the request for an alternative location shall contain the following information:
i. Location of town sewer main and easement in relation to available exterior space outside building.
ii. Existing plumbing at or in a site that uses common plumbing for all services at that site.
d. Understand and agree that: The use of biological additives as a grease degradation agent is not permissible.
e. Understand and agree that: The use of automatic grease removal systems is conditionally permissible, upon prior written approval by the director, the lead plumbing inspector of the town, and the Pender County Department of Health. Any establishment using this equipment shall operate the system in such a manner that attainment of the grease wastewater discharge limit, as measured from the unit's outlet, is consistently achieved.
f. Understand and agree that: The director reserves the right to make determinations of grease interceptor adequacy and need, based on review of all relevant information regarding grease interceptor performance, facility site and building plan review and to require repairs to, or modification or replacement of such traps.
(2) The user shall maintain a written record of interceptor maintenance for three (3) years. All such records will be available for inspection by the town at all times.
(3) No non-greaseladen sources are allowed to be connected to sewer lines intended for grease interceptor service.
Provide manholes, with a minimum diameter of twenty-four (24) inches, over each chamber and sanitary tee. The access manholes shall extend at least to finished grade and be designed and maintained to prevent water inflow or infiltration. The manholes shall also have readily removable covers to facilitate inspection, grease removal, and wastewater sampling activities. Manhole covers must be traffic rated if place within any parking areas. Manhole covers are to be of a weight class of less than one hundred (100) pounds.
(h) FOG variance.
(1) The town public utilities developed a variance study to allow food preparation and service establishments an avenue to provide substantial evidence so as to reduce maintenance of the grease interceptor as required by this section.
(2) A food preparation/service establishment can apply for a variance to the scheduled service requirements of this section. A food preparation/service establishment that believes the service schedule of once every thirty (30) days is excessive, and feels that the grease interceptor service frequency can be extended, without violating this section can apply. Food preparation/service establishments who wish to use biological or chemical additives for the removal of fats, oils, and grease from a grease separation device or a plumbing system may also apply for a variance to the service schedule.
a. A copy of the Town of Surf City Grease Interceptor Service Schedule Variance Request Form can be obtained from the town. The request form must be signed by the food preparation/service owner(s).
b. Read, understand, and agree with the town's grease interceptor service schedule variance (see Appendix A), and the town's grease interceptor service schedule variance request form, (see Appendix B).
c. Mail a completed town's grease interceptor service schedule variance request form to:
Town of Surf City
Public Utilities Department
P.O. Box 2475
Surf City, NC 28445-9821
d. The Town of Surf City will review all variance request forms and contact the food preparation/service establishment accepting or rejecting the variance request. The food preparation/service establishment once authorized by the Town of Surf City to begin the variance study procedure may contact a grease interceptor service provider to schedule a grease interceptor cleaning.
e. The food preparation/service establishment must contact the Town of Surf City Public Utility Department two (2) working days prior to the grease interceptors schedule cleaning.
f. Additional monitoring events or pollutants may be required if deemed necessary by the town's public utility department. Variance studies shall not exceed a period of ninety (90) days.
g. After a minimum of three (3) site samples are collected and all sampling results are obtained, the town's public utilities department will analyze all data. After all data is reviewed by the town, the town will submit in writing the results of the variance study only to the facility requesting said study.
1. When an establishment is fifteen (15) days past required cleaning date, the establishment will be in violation. If the establishment cannot provide proof that they have maintained compliance with the fats, oils, and grease ordinance, a three-hundred-dollar ($300.00) fine will be added to the establishment water bill.
2. If a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) occurs and can be traced back to an establishment, the establishment will be in violation. If this SSO occurred through neglect of the grease discharge a three-hundred-dollar ($300.00) fine will be added to the next billing cycle.
3. Termination of (sewer) service (TOS). Termination of service (TOS) is the revocation of a food service establishment's privilege to discharge wastewater from food preparation processes into the sanitary sewer system. TOS is used when the discharge from the establishment presents imminent endangerment to the health or welfare of persons, or the environment or threatens to interfere with the operation of the POTW collection system. TOS is also used as an escalating enforcement action when a noncompliant food service establishment fails to respond adequately to previous enforcement actions. TOS may be accomplished by physical severance of the FSE's connection to the sanitary sewer system, which compels the establishment to immediately terminate its discharge, or a court ruling.
4. The Public Utilities Director reserves the right to assess the maximum penalty for any violation.
(Ord. No. 2009-03(2), 3-3-09; Ord. No. 2018-01, 2-6-2018; Ord. No. 2021-09, 5-4-21)