FOG Grease Trap Ordinance Causing Big Problems For Small Businesses

FOG Grease Trap Ordinance Causing Big Problems For Small Businesses

WTVY in Dothan, Alabama reports that about 30 percent of restaurants in Dothan haven’t become compliant with the city’s new FOG ordinance. The ordinance is aimed at eliminating fats, oil, and grease from the city’s wastewater system.

That prompted some city commissioners Tuesday to urge administrative staff to help those that are struggling to become compliant. They also point to low interest microloans that could assist smaller food service establishments.

“We’re going to make sure we have the most economical avenue available to them and realize they don’t need to have the same capacity (for disposing of grease) as the larger chain restaurants,” Commissioner John Ferguson said.

Gary Sommer operates Glo’s Café, a small downtown southern cooking eatery. For 20 years, he’s served lunch.

Sommer said having to install a grease catching device could be more than he can afford. He rents the building and the landlord has no interest helping defray expenses, he said. “If something isn’t worked out I may have to close.”

Sommer jokes that his leftover grease from fried cornbread may be blocking the arteries of his customers but not the city sewage system. “What little grease is left I give to a farmer who uses it to kill weeds.”

Ferguson sympathizes with Sommer and other Mom and Pop restaurant owners but said there’s no choice. “We have to (require the changes) as part of our consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Commissioner Amos Newsome said the city must work to help those who feel overburdened by the FOG ordinance. It calls for interceptors to store the grease that will be removed and hauled away every 90 days by a certified company.

118 of nearly 500 Dothan restaurants have not yet complied with the FOG ordinance.

As more municipalities require additional regulations to prevent fats, oil and grease from entering their sewer system, installing The Drain Strainer can prevent your grease trap from getting clogged with food solids.

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