Ordinance concerning Food Service Establishments and Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG)

The City of La Porte has established Municipal Ordinance 98-166 (Definitions for FOG and Grease interceptors/traps) and 98-194 (Fat, oil, and grease (FOG) discharge controls and limits) to control the entry of FOG into the municipal collection system.  FOG in the collection system can cause problems that may result in plugging, basement backups and sewer overflows.  To remedy this potential problem, the City has instituted the following guidelines regarding the handling of FOG by Food Service establishments.  Please reference the ordinance for complete guidelines:

Define it!

What is FOG?

     FOG refers to Fats, Oils and Grease, which may come from animal, vegetable or mineral sources.

Who is a Food Service Establishment?

     A Food Service Establishment is any place that prepares food including, but not limited to, restaurants, banquet halls, cafeterias, schools and hospitals. In addition, all food manufacturing facilities (deli's, bakeries, etc.).

What is a Grease Trap?

     A Grease Trap is an indoor grease separation device, usually installed underneath a sink and designed for small volume water flows.  Grease Traps must be Plumbing and Drainage Institute (PDI) certified.

What is a Grease Interceptor?

     A Grease Interceptor is an outdoor grease separation tank installed in the ground and designed to handle larger volume water flows.  A Grease Interceptor shall have a minimum capacity of 1000 gallons (Click HERE to see a typical Grease Interceptor).

Grease Trap

Typical Grease Trap Layout

Grease Interceptor

1000 gallon Grease Interceptor

What else do I need to know?

I already have a Grease trap, does this apply to me?

     If your grease trap or interceptor is properly sized and working well then all that is needed is documentation of its periodic cleaning.  An example form showing how the maintenance log should be filled out is below as well as a link to the actual form that you can download and print out.

I'm building a new place, do I need one?

     Call the Pretreatment Department (219-362-2354) and they will help assist you in determining whether you are required to have a FOG separator per the City of La Porte's Wastewater Facility Guidelines and what size would be necessary.

I've bought or am remodeling an old place that already has one, is it still good enough?

     Regulations regarding the sizing and placement of FOG separators have changed and the old trap or interceptor may not meet the current Guideline requirements.  Call the Pretreatment Department (219-362-2354) to ensure that the existing separator will suffice.

Ok, now I have a separator.  What's next?

     Separators require maintenance in order to function properly.  Grease Traps should be inspected every three months.  While inspecting the trap, the owner shall determine if it needs to be cleaned.  If you are not sure how to properly clean your Grease Trap, see the following video that demonstrates the procedure. 

Grease Interceptors should be inspected every three months and cleaned by a reputable service company a minimum of once per year.  Depending on the depth of the grease in the Interceptor, it may require cleaning more than annually.

The Maintenance Log

Records detailing when the separator was cleaned, who cleaned it, how much FOG was removed and where the FOG was taken are required to be maintained by the separator owner and provided to the Pretreatment Department upon request.  An example sheet is provided below.
Grease Control Maintenance Log Sample Both
 If there are multiple separators onsite, then multiple records must be maintained.  You can obtain a blank copy of the Grease Maintenance log by clicking HERE

What if I Don't Maintain it?

Separators that cause problems for the sewer collection system or failure to maintain separator cleaning records may result in action by the City that can range from written notifications to the owner, to fines up to $400 per violation.  Additionally if FOG causes a blockage in the City sewer lines, the cost of work required to remove the FOG from the City's sewer collection system may be billed to the owner of the separator causing the problem.