By Chuck McClanahan
Corsicana Daily Sun
There has been discussion about the City Council’s recently adopted grease trap ordinance. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires cities to implement regulations to control the discharge of fats, oils and grease into the sanitary sewer system. For many years there have been regulations prohibiting the discharge of grease and there is substantial evidence of grease in the sewer system. Also, businesses that have the potential to discharge grease have always been required to have a grease trap. The purpose of the recently adopted ordinance was to clarify what is required of establishments that may discharge fats, oils and grease. It summarizes what businesses that have the potential to discharge must do to comply with the City code and state law.
If a business or institution is required to have a Health Department food service permit in order to operate, it may be impacted by this ordinance. The goal is to reduce the amount of grease in the City sewer system; therefore, if a business is determined to be a potential discharge source and does not currently have a grease trap, the owner can request a 12 month assessment period. During this timeframe, the City will collect samples for analysis to determine if a grease trap is necessary. The owner may be asked to install a sample port if one is not present. At the same time the facility will be assessed to determine if installation of a grease trap is feasible. If installation is not feasible an alternative capture device may be proposed by the business. A solution may be as simple as an under the counter unit. Existing restaurants and businesses that are grease producers and have a grease trap in operation, will be allowed to demonstrate compliance without making modifications if possible. There have been no restaurants in town that have closed because of the grease trap ordinance.
The ordinance does not contain a ‘one size fits all’ solution nor is there one for every business. The Planning and Zoning Department and the Health Inspector will handle the evaluation of all businesses on a case by case basis to determine the need and what type of device will be required. The City will continue to work with each different situation to develop a plan for all businesses.