How should FSEs stay compliant with the District Codes?

The food service establishment should install and maintain appropriate grease removal devices, as per CVSan Codes and follow all the ‘Best Management Practices’ (BMPs) of the District.

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What should I do with brown grease (grease scraped from traps and cookware)?

It is best to compost small amounts of grease scraped from traps and cookware (in a paper milk or ice cream carton). The grease from traps and cookware should not go into the used oil recycle storage bin. Brown grease should not be mixed with yellow grease, unless the yellow grease hauler can recycle the entire contents when they are mixed. Large quantities of brown grease should be disposed of through a local cooking oil and grease recycler.

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What should I do with yellow grease (used cooking/fryer oil)?

Do not pour yellow grease down the drain or in the trash. It is best to compost small amounts of cooking/fryer oil (in a paper milk or ice cream carton). Large amounts of cooking/fryer oil should be collected in a separate recycling bin or container setup either inside or outside the building and hauled through a licensed grease hauler. Large amounts of used oil can also be transported by the food facilities in their own vehicles to the central collection point.

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Who is a Licensed Grease Hauler?

According to California Food and Agricultural Code Sections 19310 and 19311, a Licensed Grease Hauler is a person who is registered with the department of Food and Agriculture as a transporter of inedible kitchen grease and who is in possession of a valid registration certificate from the Department of Food and Agriculture. Licensed Grease Haulers are eligible to operate vehicles for the purpose of collecting inedible kitchen grease that includes used cooking/fryer oil. They are also eligible to clean the grease traps and grease interceptors.

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Who cleans the Grease Removal Devices?

The small under-the-sink or under-the-counter traps that are usually located inside the building may be cleaned by the establishment itself. It is recommended that if cleaning is performed by kitchen staff, solids and FOG should be dewatered and discarded in the trash. The large outside interceptors must be cleaned by a licensed grease hauler. A list of licensed grease haulers can be found here.

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How do I know that my Grease Removal Device is adequately sized?

The California Plumbing Code requires that no grease trap have a capacity less than 20 gallons per minute (gpm). The size of the trap depends upon the number of fixtures connected to it. The size will also depend upon the maintenance schedule. If a grease trap or interceptor is not maintained regularly, it will not provide the necessary grease removal. 

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Can you recommend a maintenance schedule for Grease Removal Devices?

It is recommended that, all grease removal devices should be maintained regularly so that the depth of floating FOG and settled solids accumulation do not exceed 25% of the hydraulic length, at any time. Thereby, the working depth of each device stays more than 75% for effective FOG separation. All grease removal devices shall be maintained to ensure compliance with CVSan’s discharge limits for oil and grease in accordance with CVSan Code Section 6206. As per CVSan Code Section 6216, the minimum cleaning frequency required for all grease interceptors is 6 months.

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Does my FSE need a Grease Removal Device, though I do not fry or cook with grease?

Yes. The reason you need a grease trap or grease interceptor is because of the cleanup, not the cooking. When you wash your cooking equipment, you are washing fats, oils, and grease (not to mention solids) into the public sewer main. It’s the fats, oils, greas0,e and solids (food stuff) that damage public sewer mains.

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Does my FSE need a Grease Removal Device?

Any FSE that introduces FOG into the public sewer main in quantities large enough to cause line blockages or hinder wastewater treatment is required to install a grease trap or interceptor.

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What are Grease Removal Devices (GRDs)?

Grease removal devices are outdoor Gravity Grease Interceptors (GGI) or indoor Grease Removal Devices (GRD) for non-residential use. They are designed, constructed, and intended to remove, hold, or otherwise prevent the passage of FOG into the public sewer mains. 

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Where does the fat, oil and grease come from?

Many sources. In the food industry, "grease" often refers to fats and oils derived from animal and vegetable sources. These include meats, nuts, cereals, beans and waxes/paraffins.

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How big is the grease problem?

From 50–70 percent of all sanitary sewer system problems overflows are caused by accumulations of fats, oils and greases discharged to it from the preparation and serving of food.

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What kinds of problems do fat, oil and grease cause?

Sewer capacity constraints are frequently caused by improper materials, including fats, oils, and greases being introduced into the sewer system by District residents and businesses.

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