Grease traps are designed to separate out the Fats, Oils and Greases (FOGs) and solids normally found in food preparation waste from the rest of the wastewater being discharged to the City's sanitary sewer system.

Download the new Restaurant's Guide to Grease Traps in English or en Español [Adobe PDF].

View our Grease Trap Presentation in English or en Español [Adobe PDF]. The FOGs and solids have to be removed on a regular basis in order for these grease traps to work properly.

Recent amendments made to Chapter 15-10 of the Austin City Code include a requirement that all grease traps be cleaned at least once every three months. Furthermore, the requirement states that all traps must be cleaned when grease and solids accumulation in the final compartment reaches 50% or more of the wetted height of the grease trap, meaning that many traps will have to be cleaned more often than the once every three months minimum. Grease trap waste may only be removed and transported by a liquid waste hauler permitted by the City of Austin

Copies of the waste hauler's manifest records documenting that the grease trap is being cleaned according to this required schedule must be available on the premises. Another amendment of significance is that a single grab wastewater sample will be used by the City to determine compliance with the FOG limit of 200 milligrams per liter.

The failure to meet any one of these grease trap maintenance or documentation requirements would be considered a separate violation of the Austin City Code. Violators could be subject to fines of up to $2,000 per violation per day.

For those grease traps that must be taken out of service, one of the following sets of procedures for tank abandonment must be followed as described below: