Fats, Oils, and Greases (FOG) at Food Service Establishments

The Town of Ridgefield WPCA is beginning the process of compiling information from all Food Service Establishments to ensure compliance with the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection General Permit for the Discharge of Wastewater Associated with Food Preparation Establishments.

This General permit regulates the discharge of wastewaters to a sanitary sewer from food preparation establishments that are classified as Class III or Class IV food service establishments as defined in the CT Public health code. This includes but is not limited to, restaurants, school kitchens, bars, cafes, bakeries, and church kitchens.

The General Permit requires any new regulated food preparation establishment initiating a discharge after the date of the permit issuance comply with the permit requirement immediately. All regulated food preparation establishments existing at the date of permit issuance shall comply no later than July 1, 2011.

There are three conditions that will require earlier compliance for existing Food Preparation Establishments. These are a change in ownership, a renovation of the facility or the municipality designating an area of the sewer system as a problem area.

The uncontrolled and/or inadequately controlled discharge of fats, oils and grease into municipal sanitary sewage systems have resulted in blockages within the collection system, posing hazards to public health and resulting in increased cost to the users of the system. The principle of pollution prevention is that control of a pollutant at its source is a preferred strategy.

The permit requires that establishments install either an exterior 1,000 gallon passive grease interceptor or an internal automatic grease recovery unit (AGRU) in accordance with technical requirements specified in the general permit. Kitchen fixtures and drains as specified in the general permit shall be connected to the grease interceptor or AGRU.

Pollution prevention/best management practices are also required of the permittee including quarterly inspections of the equipment and pump-outs of the passive interceptors at least every three months. Permittes are also required to keep a maintenance log on site recording all maintenance done to the passive interceptors or AGRUs.

It is the intention of the Ridgefield WPCA to assist all Food Service Establishments in complying with the General Permit. Should you have any questions please contact either WPCA Administrator, Diana Van Ness, at 431-2734, or Director of Health, Edward Briggs at 431-2745. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.