Grease trap ordinance could mean restaurant, manufacturer fines

The Breckenridge City Commission took the first steps in insure clean sewerlines with passage of a grease trap ordinance earlier this month.

The ordinance requires applicable facilities to install, use and maintain grease traps or interceptors, prohibits discharging of excessive fats, oils and dressings into the city’s sewer system and provides civil penalties for related violations. 

“When grease never gets treated it basically settles in the sewer line and goes out into the creek. It’s pretty much a hazard,” Breckenridge Public Works Director Houston Satterwhite said  during the commission’s meeting in June.

This ordinance applies to all non-domestic users of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works. These facilities include but are not limited to restaurants, food manufacturers, food processors, hospitals, hotels and motels, prisons, nursing homes and any other facility preparing, serving, or otherwise making any food available for consumption. This ordinance does not apply to residential users. 

New facilities are mandated to install, operate and maintain their grease traps with local plumbing codes and have them inspected before they are certified for use. Existing facilities must maintain operations in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

All waste must be properly disposed of at a facility in accordance with federal, state or local regulations. If a facility or user violates these guidelines, then they will be charged with a penalty.

“This will mainly address repeat offenders,” said Satterwhite, who reported the Breckenridge Water Department is able to trace back to the source when there is a blockage.

Should a restaurant or manufacturer violate the ordinance, the city will address the issue by identifying the offender, issuing a warning, followed by a ticket and ending in cutting off the offender’s water.

General violations and generator blockages will result in a first violation penalty of $400, second violation within two years the of first will result in a penalty of $500 and third violation within two years the of first will result in a penalty of $750. Repeat offenders will be charged with a penalty of $250 in addition to penalty charges from first, second, or third violations. 

“This is trying to cut back on equipment wear-and-tear. It’s going to ruffle some feathers but it needs to be done,” Satterwhite said.

The Breckenridge American

BRECKENRIDGE OFFICE

114 East Elm Street

PO Box 871

Breckenridge, Texas 76424

Phone: (254) 559-5412
Fax: (254) 559-3491