FAQ Oil and Grease Prevention Program

FAQ’s For Oil and Grease Prevention Program

Q: What is the Oil and Grease Prevention Program (O&GPP)?

A: The Oil and Grease Prevention Program is mandated via City Ordinance #4315, Chapter 102, Article IX, Division 5, Section 102-373  that requires all facilities with the potential to discharges fats, oils and greases (FOG) and/or petroleum products to install appropriate pretreatment devices including grease interceptors, grease traps and oil water separators.  The Program is designed to minimize the discharge of FOG and petroleum oils to the City’s sanitary sewer system, thereby reducing the risk of sanitary sewer overflows and issues at the wastewater treatment plants.

Q: Why does the City have an O&GPP?

A:  FOG is the number two cause of sanitary sewer overflows in the City of Sanford and throughout the United States.  Sanitary sewer overflows costs the City thousands of dollars yearly.  FOG is also difficult to remove during the wastewater treatment process which raises the costs for the Utility Department.   In an effort to reduce the overflows and elevated costs, the City implemented the O&GP in 2005. 

Q: What types of facilities are regulated under the O&GPP?

A: O&GPP regulations apply to a variety of businesses discharging wastewater from commercial facilities.  Facilities that produce FOG include restaurants, fast food establishments, hotels/motels, coffee shops, bars with cooking, convenience stores, hospitals, retirement homes, churches, meat markets and daycare facilities.  Facilities that produce petroleum products include automotive repair shops & service centers, automotive dealerships, carwashes, car rental agencies, equipment rental/maintenance facilities and paint & body shops.   Facilities that fall under these categories will be required to install and maintain an appropriately sized pretreatment device(s) which include a grease trap, grease interceptor and/or an oil water separator.  This includes facilities that discharge petroleum products via an employee/mechanic handwashing sink.  

Additionally, where feasible, facilities that qualify for the O&GPP must install a sampling manhole or another type of representative sample point (if no lift station is present) that receives flow from the pretreatment device as well as all other sources of wastewater onsite.  The sampling manhole/sample point/lift station will be used to collect samples annually as required by the Surcharge Program established in the City Ordinance (See Surcharge Program FAQ’s for further information on this program).

Q: Are there any fees associated with the O&GPP?

A: Yes.  A wastewater discharge permit must be obtained when a facility is initially added to the program and it must be renewed every two years.  The initial permit fee is $250 and the renewal fee is $150.  Additionally, an annual inspection is performed the year in between permit renewal and a $50 fee is applied directly to the facility’s Utility account.  Surcharge Program sampling fees will also be applied as needed.   Additional fees may be applied (as needed) for inspections at the facility in effort to obtain the required waste disposal manifests. 

Q: Why didn’t I have to do this in my last facility?

A: The O&GPP is required by City Ordinance and all facilities that qualify must comply with program requirements. The City of Sanford conducts field surveys on a routine basis to ensure all facilities within City limits are in compliance with the ordinance.

Q: What happens if a facility does not comply with the O&GPP requirements?

A: The City makes every effort to maintain working partnerships with the facilities that qualify for the program, valuing information and compliance over enforcement as the best way to achieve mutually beneficial economic and environmental goals. However, if a facility remains non-compliant, that facility will be subject to enforcement action. The City utilizes a progressive enforcement response plan, with actions ranging from Notices of Violation (NOV) and citations to sewer or water service termination.

Q: How do I know if I need to be regulated under the O&GPP?

A: All non-residential facilities under construction or proposing to open within the City must complete a Wastewater Discharge Application prior to discharging to the City’s sanitary sewer.  Existing non-residential facilities with the potential to discharge FOG must complete the Wastewater Discharge Application and return it to the City’s Environmental Coordinator within the designated timeframe. The application will be evaluated and if needed a site inspection will be performed.  The application contact will be notified if the facility is required to obtain a wastewater discharge permit and install an appropriate pretreatment device. The discharge permit will explain all compliance requirements and designate the pretreatment device cleaning frequency.  

There is an exception to the non-residential requirement.  Multifamily dwellings including condominiums, apartment buildings and apartment complexes under construction or proposing to build within the City will be required to install a grease interceptor and sampling manhole (if no lift station is present) and must comply with O&GP and Surcharge Program requirements.  Townhomes will be required to install and maintain a used cooking oil recycling center onsite. 

Q:  Are there any other sources of fats, oils and greases regulated under the O&GPP?

 A:  Only commercial facilities and multifamily dwellings are regulated under the O&GPP.  However, the City implemented a Fat Free Sewers public outreach program in an effort to educate residential locations on the detrimental impacts of fats, oils and greases in the City’s sewer system.  Further information on Fat Free Sewers program coming soon.  

Q: Are there any other issues concerning the City’s sewer system that citizens should be aware of?

A: Yes, flushing/washing non-flushable items down toilets and sinks can wreak havoc on the City’s sewer system and cause back-ups and sanitary sewer overflows.  The City has implemented a Do Not Flush public outreach program in an effort to educate citizens on the detrimental impacts of non-flushable items in the City’s sewer system.  Further information on the Do Not Flush program coming soon.  

Q: Who should I contact if I need more information about the O&GPP?

A: For more information please contact the Environmental Coordinator at 407 688-5000 ext. 5512