According to CVSan Code Section 4137, CVSan’s Inspector and other duly authorized employees of CVSan have the authority to conduct inspections of FOG handling and practices at all FSEs within the jurisdiction. You can learn more about CVSan Code by searching the district code found at the bottom of this page.
Best Management Practices for Food Service Establishments:
CVSan recommends all FSEs to follow Best Management Practices (BMPs) that helps to prevent or reduce the introduction of FOG into the public sewer mains.
FOG control BMPs for food service establishments are as follows:
- Maintenance of Grease Interceptors and Traps: Clean all grease removal devices regularly to prevent grease discharged to the sewer. Grease traps and interceptors must be cleaned as often as necessary to keep them functioning properly or at a minimum every six months. All grease removal devices should be maintained regularly so that the depth of floating grease and settled solids accumulated do not exceed 25% of the hydraulic depth, at any time. Thereby, the working depth consists of more than 75% water for effective FOG separation.
- Disposal of Oily Food: Never pour oil, grease, or large quantities of oily liquids such as sauces and salad dressings into sinks, grease interceptors or grease traps. Scrape oily food remains into an organics bin/cart.
- Disposal of Cooking/Fryer Oil: Do not pour yellow grease (used cooking/fryer oil) down the drain or in the trash. Recycle yellow grease through a licensed grease hauler or recycler. Store recyclable yellow grease in a separate sealed container. Provide secondary containment if placed outside the facility. Make sure that the containers are covered, spill-proof and have no leaks.
- Disposal of scraped grease: It is best to compost small amounts of scraped grease (brown grease) 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. Brown grease can only be legally collected and transported by a licensed grease hauler.
- Usage of Enzymes and Emulsifiers: Do not use additives, including but not limited to biological or chemical agents, enzymes or surfactants acting as grease emulsifiers, into any grease interceptor or trap, for FOG remediation. Please note that chemicals used for odor control and drain cleaning are not prohibited from usage.
- Usage of Screens: All drains must have screens, to keep solids out of the sink drains. These screens should be cleaned regularly to prevent kitchen drain blockage.
- Usage of Flow Control Devices: Flow control devices are installed at the inlet of indoor grease traps. As these devices aid gravity separation, they should be installed at the inlet at all times. Flow control devices should be cleaned regularly to prevent blockage due to the accumulation of solid particles.
- Dry clean-up/Pre-wash: Use rubber scrapers to remove food wastes from cookware, serving ware, utensils, and cooking surfaces before cleaning them with water. Paper towels can be used for mild scraping as an alternative to rubber scrapers. Do not use cloth towels for wiping or scraping. Make sure that the scraped grease or food is not dumped into the drain or grease trap. Use food-grade paper to soak up oil grease under fryer baskets. After dry clean-up, begin washing with a hot pre-wash, then a scouring sink with detergent, then a rinse sink.
- Spill Handling: Prevent spillage by emptying containers before they are full and using proper covers while transporting grease containers. In case of a spill, mop spill with absorbents such as cat litter or paper towel, before washing the spill with water. Train employees to control and clean up spills. Post notice to employees providing emergency contact numbers for spill clean-up service providers.
- Documentation and Training: Train staff on the best management practices of FOG handling and maintain documentation of grease removal device maintenance for at least three years.
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.
Does my FSE need a Grease Removal Device?
Any FSE that produces FOG is required to install a grease trap or interceptor.
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, grease, and solids (foodstuff) that damage public sewer mains.
Can you recommend a maintenance schedule for Grease Removal Devices?
Grease traps and interceptors must be cleaned as often as necessary to keep them functioning properly or at a minimum every six months. the depth of floating grease and settled solids accumulated must not exceed 25% of the hydraulic depth, at any time. Thereby, the working depth consists of more than 75% water for effective FOG separation. All grease removal devices shall be maintained to ensure compliance with CVSan’s discharge limits for oil and grease per CVSan Code Section 6206. As per CVSan Code Section 6216, the minimum cleaning frequency required for all grease interceptors is 6 months. Some establishments will find it necessary to clean their interceptors more often than what is required by the Code.
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.
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. This is due to the volume of waste contained inside the trap and the proper disposal of this waste. The interceptors are roughly the size of a residential septic tank and they are confined spaces. No one is allowed to enter confined spaces without training or certification. A list of licensed grease haulers can be found at the bottom of this page.
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 owns a valid registration certificate from the Department of Food and Agriculture. Licensed Grease Haulers are eligible to operate vehicles to collect inedible kitchen grease that includes used cooking/fryer oil. They are also eligible to clean the grease traps and grease interceptors..
What should I do with yellow grease (used cooking/fryer oil)?
Do not pour yellow grease (used cooking/fryer oil) down the drain or in the trash. Recycle yellow grease through a licensed grease hauler or recycler. Store recyclable yellow grease in a separate sealed container. Provide secondary containment if placed outside the facility. Make sure that the containers are covered, spill-proof and have no leaks.
What should I do with brown grease (grease scraped from traps and cookware)?
It is best to compost small amounts of scraped grease (brown grease) 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. Brown grease can only be legally collected and transported by a licensed grease hauler.
How should FSEs stay compliant with the District Codes?
The foodservice 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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