Fats, Oils & Grease Program

The Fats, Oils, and Grease Program outlines the wastewater pretreatment requirements for Food Preparation Establishments (FPE) and other commercial facilities that discharge fats, oils and grease in their wastewater flow. All new and existing Class III and IV FPEs that discharge fats, oils and grease in their wastewater must comply with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s General Permit for the Discharge of Wastewater Associated with Food Preparation Establishments by JULY 1, 2011. Upon installation of the required properly sized Automatic Grease Recovery Unit (AGRU) or outdoor in-ground minimum 1,000 gallon interceptor the FPE must complete a Facility Registration form and schedule an inspection with MDC to receive approval. Any questions or to schedule an inspection please contact Magen Bakaj at 860-278-7850 ext 3239 or by email at mbakaj@themdc.com.

Impacts of Fats, Oils, and Grease buildup on an MDC sewer

FINES AND FEES

Annual Fee

An annual fee of $80.00 will be billed to each of the Class III and IV Food Preparation Establishments (FPEs) in the Metropolitan District. This fee is associated with the review and approval of facility registration forms as well as inspections. The Annual Fee invoice will be mailed and payment is due within 30 days of the issuance of the invoice.

New Establishment/ Change of Ownership/ Renovation/ Re-Registration/ Variance Fee

In addition to the annual $80.00 fee, a fee of $80.00 will be billed to any FPE if one or more of the following conditions apply to the establishment:

  • A new FPE (registration must occur prior to opening); or
  • An existing FPE under operation of a new owner; or
  • Re-registration of an approved FPE due to the expiration of the current Registration Approval. Re-registration for a previously approved FPE must be submitted 30-days prior to the expiration date of the current approval; or
  • Application for Variance of the treatment requirements described in the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) General Permit for the Discharge of Wastewater Associated With Food Preparation Establishments. These fees are associated with the review and approval of the FPE registration or variance application and recordkeeping. The fee must be submitted along with the Registration Form or Variance Application. Upon reaching compliance with the General Permit a letter of approval will be sent to the FPE indicating the expiration date of the approval. 


FPE registration or variance approvals will expire three years after the issuance date. The FPE shall submit a Registration or Variance Application form 30-days prior to the expiration of the FPE’s current registration.

Inspections Violation Fees

The MDC will perform inspections of the FPEs to determine compliance with the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) General Permit for the Discharge of Wastewater Associated With Food Preparation Establishments. Each day that a violation continues shall be a separate occurrence of the violation according to section S15 of the MDC Sewer Ordinances.

The Inspection Violation Fees are as follows:

Failure to Submit Registration or Variance Applications $100
Disallow Inspection $100   
Failure to maintain records in proper order $100
Failure to maintain outdoor or indoor grease removal devices in
properly working order
$200
Failure to clean outdoor or indoor grease removal devices quarterly or when 25% of the depth of the trap is filled with food solids and FOG, whichever comes first $200
Failure to properly dispose of brown and/or yellow grease $200
Source of sanitary sewer overflow (minimum) * $1000

*actual costs will be billed to the faclity for time and materials related to the SSO

The payment of the fee will be required 30 days following issuance of the notice of violation invoice.

Violation Correction Schedule

Equipment not registered  30 days
Installation violation (outdoor or indoor)  90 days
Operational violations  30 days
Failure to maintain written records of trap cleanings  30 days
Disallow an inspection  30 days
Failure to maintain indoor and outdoor grease removal
device in proper working order
 7 days
Failure to clean out indoor and/or outdoor grease removal
device as required
 7 days
Source of Sanitary Sewer overflow (minimum)  24 hours


Emergency Call Out Fees

The MDC will perform emergency call outs to relieve grease blockages that result in sewer backups. If MDC determines that the grease problems in the sewer infrastructure were a result of the FPE, the establishment will be billed for the work performed by the MDC to relieve the blockage. The payment of the fee will be due within 30 days of the issuance of the invoice.

GREASE TRAP OPTIONS

All Class III and Class IV Food Preparation Establishments (FPEs) are required to install either an Automatic Grease Recovery Unit (AGRU) or a minimum 1,000 gallon outdoor in-ground passive grease interceptor. Specific requirements for these devices are outlined in the General Permit. All of the following fixtures must be connected to either an AGRU or an outdoor passive grease interceptor:

  • pot sinks (3 bay sinks)
  • pre-rinse sinks;
  • any sink into which fats, oil, and grease are likely to be introduced;
  • soup kettles or similar devices; wok stations;
  • floor drains or sinks into which kettles may be drained;
  • automatic hood wash units;
  • dishwashers without pre-rinse sinks; and
  • any other fixtures or drains that are likely to allow fats, oils and grease to be discharged.


Automatic Grease Recovery Unit (AGRU)

Automatic Grease Recovery Units (AGRUs) are relatively small pretreatment units that can be located inside a kitchen to remove grease at the source of generation. These units allow fats, oils, and grease (FOG) to accumulate within the unit while skimmers or pumps remove the FOG from the unit and deposit the material in a separate container for disposal by a grease removal contractor.

All AGRUs shall be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. This includes a minimum quarterly (four times per year) clean out of the entire unit. The contents of the trap must be placed into a container for grease trap waste (brown grease). A written log and receipts of all cleaning and maintenance of the trap must be maintained on site for review by the MDC.  

See links below for the:

Sample AGRU Maintenance Log
AGRU Best Management Practice Poster

List of AGRU vendors, Grease Trap Cleaners and Grease Removal Contractors

Examples of AGRUs:

[bigdipper]    

OUTDOOR IN-GROUND GREASE TRAP/INTERCEPTOR

An outdoor in-ground grease trap must be emptied at least every three months or whenever 25% of the operating depth of the grease trap/interceptor is occupied by grease and settled solids, which ever is more frequent. Following a minimum one year of operation, the facility may submit a request to the MDC to extend the cleaning beyond the three month period if the facility demonstrates that the level of grease and solids was less than 25% during each of the three month intervals. The facility shall maintain a written log and receipts of all cleaning and maintenance of the trap. 

Please see links below for the:

Cleaning Log for Outdoor Grease Interceptors
Outdoor Grease Interceptor FOG Maintenance Requirements Poster

The Standard Specification for MDC outside grease interceptors for kitchens is shown below:

The outdoor grease trap/interceptor specifications are described in Section 5(b)(1) of the General Permit. Installation of a new outdoor grease trap/interceptor shall meet the specifications as described in the General Permit and the MDC specifications.

COMPLIANCE DATES

Food service establishments and facilities that are applicable to this General Permit shall comply based on the following schedule:

All new facilities shall comply with the requirements of the General Permit before initiating such discharge. An existing facility, which begin operation prior to the effective date of the General Permit (September 30, 2005), shall comply with the requirements of the General Permit no later than July 1, 2011.

BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

  • Renderable fats, oils, and grease shall be disposed of in separate storage containers for recycling by a renderer. No renderable fats, oils, and grease shall be discharged into grease trap/interceptors or AGRUs, sanitary sewers, dumpsters or storm sewers.“Renderable” means uncontaminated fats, oils and grease from the food preparation process that can be used as a source of material that is free of impurities and can be recycled into products such as animal feed and cosmetics.
  • The owner/operator shall perform at least quarterly inspections of all indoor and outdoor grease trap/interceptors.
  • For disposal in Connecticut, the contents of all grease trap/interceptors, AGRUs and other approved units shall be disposed of at a regional collection/transfer/disposal site.  For disposal outside of Connecticut, the contents of all grease trap/interceptors, AGRUs and other approved units shall be disposed of in an environmentally accepted manner.
  • The permittee may use hot water, steam, chemicals, or biological additives in the normal course of facility maintenance, but may not intentionally use hot water, steam, physical means, chemicals, or biological additives that will cause the release of fats, oils, and grease from the grease trap/interceptor. (Please see the link below for additional information.)
  • No food grinder (garbage disposal) or food pulper shall discharge to any grease trap/interceptors, AGRUs or other approved units.
  • All wastewater flows connected to the grease trap/interceptors shall be screened to prevent solids from entering the treatment units. Screened solids shall be disposed of in accordance with applicable solid waste regulations.
     

For additional information and guidance please go to the following link:  Best Management Practices and Guidance Manual for Food Preparation Establishments

VARIANCE PROGRAM

The Metropolitan District (MDC) may grant a variance of treatment requirements for a FPE for a period of three years.  This variance is a waiver of the treatment requirements of Sections 5(b)(1) through 5(b)3, inclusive, of the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) General Permit for the Discharge of Wastewater Associated With Food Preparation Establishments.  The applicant must demonstrate there is a limited potential for fats, oils, and grease in the discharge, as well as minimal flow.  If the MDC encounters any grease problems in the sewer infrastructure in the area of the establishment, MDC has the right to revoke any variances issued.

Please note the applicant must reapply for a variance approval 30-days prior to the following:

  • expiration date of the three year approval period or;
  • any significant menu or operational changes that would increase the potential for fats, oils, and grease in the discharge or;
  • change of ownership.
     

To be considered for a variance, the facility shall complete the Variance Application and attach a complete menu for the establishment.  The application shall include a description of the proposed methods for minimizing grease discharged in the wastewater, including employee training, cleaning procedures and interim grease disposal methods.