Archived Story

Grease inspections show restaurants are in compliance

Published 10:26am Thursday, September 19, 2013

The city is reporting positive results after wrapping up a recent inspection of 54 local restaurants to check for compliance with the city’s grease ordinance.
The grease ordinance has been in effect since January 2010.
It requires some restaurants to have a grease trap or interceptor installed and for the trap to be cleaned every 90 days or when it is 25 percent full – whichever comes first.
Restaurants not in compliance with the ordinance would have seven days to fix the problem, and the city would charge a $200 inspection fee for the second inspection following the seven-day period.
City Engineer Gerard Brewer said that a recent inspection found good results from all 54 restaurants.
“This year, about a month ago, we completed inspection of all the 54 businesses with permitted grease traps or interceptors in the city,” Brewer said. “As of about a month ago, every one of them was in compliance, so that was really good.”
Brewer said the city’s sewer department did a good job working with the service providers to accomplish the objective of keeping grease out of the sewer, and not just handing out tickets.
Brewer added that compliance with the grease ordinance helps greatly with the overall city sewer system.
“A couple of ways that we have gotten some positive results is we have inspected on the downstream with a pole camera down in the sewer,” Brewer said. “We have been able to see that those pipes are beginning to evacuate and there are no signs of new grease in most places. And we’ve seen signs of the old grease that was lining the pipes may be beginning to degrade and go away.”
Brewer said another huge improvement is that the city has cut its sanitary sewer overflows in half.
“We feel like grease-related overflows early on were between two-thirds and three-fourths of the overflows that we were having,” Brewer said. “I feel like the combination of the grease trap ordinance, as well as the heavy cleaning and television inspection the sewer department has done in the last two years, has helped get the grease-related overflows down to almost none.”

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