FOG Ordinance FAQs
- What is the purpose of the FOG Ordinance?
The purpose of the Ordinance is to eliminate sewer obstructions and blockages caused by accumulation of Fats, Oils, Grease and Sand (grit) in the City’s sewer collection system.
The chapter establishes FOG and insoluble waste discharge prohibitions and requirements, provides for City inspections and enforcement, and requires FOG and insoluble waste dischargers to participate in the City’s FOG Control Program and obtain a FOG Waste Discharge Permit as a condition of waste discharge into the City’s sewer collection system.
- Who does the Ordinance apply to?
This Ordinance applies to all "food service establishments" (FSE), "food manufacturer/processors" (FM/P), commercial and industrial businesses and other entities with potential to discharge wastewater containing fats, oils, grease, sand or other insoluble waste to the city sanitary sewer system including, but not limited to, restaurants, grocery stores, meat markets, hotels, factory and office building cafeterias, public and private schools, hospitals, commercial day care centers, churches, and catering services located within the City’s sewer collection system Service Area.
Commercial and Industrial businesses covered by this section include oil, sand, grit and insoluble waste dischargers such as automotive repair businesses, car washes, and commercial trash enclosures within the City’s sewer collection Service Area.
- Where can I find a copy of the new Ordinance?
Link: Draft FOG Ordinance
- When will the Ordinance take effect?
The ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2024, or as approved by the City Council.
- My business does not prepare food onsite, nor do we have an automatic dishwasher. Does this Ordinance apply to me?
You might be operating a “Limited Food Service Establishment.” A limited food preparation establishment is not considered an FSE when engaged only in reheating, hot holding, or assembly of ready to eat food products, provided that there is no wastewater discharge containing FOG. A limited food service establishment should follow kitchen best management practices but does not need a FOG Waste Discharge Permit. Review the FOG Waste Discharge Application to determine if your facility requires a FOGWDP.
- I own an auto repair shop. Does this Ordinance affect me?
Yes, City inspectors will need to ensure your facility is properly disposing used oil.
- The City already performs FOG inspections at my business--is there anything else I need to do?
For those businesses that are already complying with the City's FOG best management practices and inspection protocols, your daily operational practices will remain "business as usual."
However, under the FOG Control Program created by the new Ordinance, you will be required to obtain a "FOG Waste Discharge Permit (FOGWDP)" from the City. When the new Ordinance becomes affective, you will need to fill out a FOGWDP application. The application requests FOG-related information about your facility, such as types of food-processing and kitchen equipment, including a sketch of how your kitchen fixtures are connected to your Grease Capture Device(s). The sketch can be simple and hand-drawn--no need for professional drafting. You will be required to sign the application to certify that your business will achieve consistent compliance with the City's FOG Ordinance.
- I opened a new restaurant but have never had a City FOG inspection. How does this Ordinance affect me and what should I do?
Please fill out the FOG Waste Discharge Permit application as soon as possible and submit to Denice Hutten, firstname.lastname@example.org. Denice will arrange an initial inspection of your facility to ensure your facility is in compliance with existing FOG regulations as well as the new Ordinance.
- I lease my business space, is the property owner affected by this Ordinance?
In the event that the owner of a food service (FSE) or food processing establishment (FM/P) or the owner of any structure in which an FSE or FM/P is located is found to have contributed to the partial or complete obstruction of a wastewater facility resulting from the discharge of wastewater or waste containing FOG and that the City is required to act immediately to control a public health hazard because of such blockage, such owner(s) shall be jointly responsible to reimburse the city for all costs of abating such condition.
- What are Best Management Practices?
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are operational activities, prohibitions, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the direct or indirect introduction of FOG and insoluble waste into the public sewer.
- What is the City's FOG Control Program?
A brochure describing the City's FOG Control Program is at the following link:
- What is a FOG Waste Discharge Permit (FOG WDP)?
FOG Wastewater Discharge Permit (FOG WDP) means a permit issued by the City to a FSE, or other entity that might introduce fats, oils, grease, sand or other insoluble waste into the City’s collection system, authorizing the wastewater discharger or permittee to discharge wastewater into the City’s sewer collection system.
- Where can I find a copy of the FOG Waste Discharge Permit (FOG WDP) Application?
- Where can I ask questions?
Please direct your questions to Denice Hutten, Associate Engineer email@example.com or 650-750-2005.