Water Resource Agency Implementing FOG Management Program For Kentucky Grease Interceptors
For restaurants and commercial kitchens in Daviess County, the Regional Water Resource Agency is implementing a Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) management program. When it comes to fats, oils, and grease making their way into the wastewater system, this new program aims to help the agency be more proactive rather than reactive.
During a recent board meeting, the RWRA’s Director of Environmental Compliance stated that the program will be implemented in stages.
“In the past, if we had a phone call from field operations or engineering, we would go out and do an inspection or speak with the restaurant management,” she explained. “But we really want to become more proactive than this.”
The RWRA will establish procedures to help regulate all of Daviess County’s more than 400 food service enterprises. These will not only include restaurants, but also school cafeterias, grocery store delis and bakeries, and any other establishment that provides commercial food service.
“Anywhere that cooks or prepares food has the potential to generate those fats, oils, and grease,” the Director explained. “The entire purpose of this program is to prevent sewer system bottlenecks and overflows.”
Commercial kitchen operators will be required to acquire a FOG permit under the new management plan, which the Director said is in line with how RWRA issues other permits and will allow the agency to certify grease interceptors at food service establishments.
The Director estimates that an industrial wastewater discharge permit will cost $200 every two years.
“It would be something in that area,” she added, “but we haven’t set a permit charge.”
The RWRA Board Chairman questioned the Director about RWRA’s legal ability to create and enforce such a program, as well as any state legislative rules that would have to be followed.
According to the Director, there is currently no state or federal FOG regulation, but the Division of Water encourages all publicly-owned treatment plants to have a FOG management program.
Henderson, Bowling Green, and Evansville Kentucky are among the cities in the area that have implemented such a plan.
The RWRA Executive Director said that the organization receives a small ding during its state inspection for not having a FOG plan.
To keep track of eateries and their grease interceptors, the RWRA will use tracking software. Restaurants will be put on a schedule to have their grease interceptors emptied, and the software will alert the establishment if it does not happen on time.
“When we get that phone call saying we have a lot of grease buildup in a certain place, the whole idea here is to be more proactive, not just reactive,” the Director added.
As local governments comply with federal Clean Water Act rules, more FOG Management programs are being adopted around the country.
Consider installing The Drain Strainer if you want to keep food particles out of your grease interceptor and out of the local sewer system.
Invented by a former restaurant owner, The Drain Strainer captures food particles that would otherwise clog your pipes and grease interceptor while still allowing your 3-compartment sinks to drain rapidly.