Food service establishments can do a lot to improve the quality of discharged wastewater and lower wastewater surcharges by reducing the amount of fats, oils and greases discharged to the sanitary sewer system. These are problematic pollutants that often cause expensive surcharge bills.

You can do the following to help reduce surcharges, curb pollution and prevent costly plumbing problems:

  • Keep waste cooking oil out of drains.  Before washing, wipe oily pans thoroughly with a used paper napkin and/or collect and sell it to rendering facilities.
  • Scrape food from plates into a trash bin. Food waste, whether chopped, un-chopped or pureed, does not belong in the drain.  Moreover, garbage disposal/grinders are prohibited for commercial food establishments.
  • Install and maintain screens over all sink and floor drains.
  • Conserve water, including implementing thesewater saving tips.
  • Follow an appropriate grease trap pump-out schedule to keep it functioning properly. Many traps will have to be cleaned more often than the once every three (3) months minimum.  For more information:
    • Download the Restaurant's Guide to Grease Traps in English or en Español (Adobe PDF).
    • View Grease Trap Presentation in English or en Español (Adobe PDF).
  • Do not use prohibited enzymes, bacteria or other agents at your facility.

Any improvements will not be reflected in your surcharge bills until the next time your wastewater is re-sampled and your surcharge is re-assessed. However, if you have taken any steps to improve your wastewater quality, you can request surcharge resampling.