Item Coversheet

AGENDA DATE:JuneĀ 13, 2017

Adopt an Ordinance Amending the Code of Ordinances by Amending Chapter 14, "Utilities," Article II, "Sewers Generally," Amending Section 14-2, "Definitions," and Adding a New Section 14-56, "Management of Fat, Oil, and Grease."


Steve Massey, Director of Community Services


Adopt an Ordinance Amending the Code of Ordinances by amending Chapter 14, "Utilities," Article II, "Sewers Generally," amending Section 14-2, "Definitions," and adding a new section 14-56, "Management of Fat, Oil, and Grease."


Allen and eleven other area cities that receive their wastewater (sewer) treatment from the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) are undertaking corrective actions stemming from the findings of an on-site wastewater system inspection conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One corrective action is to establish a Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG) Control Program. The program is to protect both City and Regional wastewater infrastructure from the buildup of grease in the lines. Grease buildup in wastewater lines contributes to both reductions in sewage transporting capacity and system blockages that can lead to untreated wastewater escaping into the environment and potentially contaminating storm sewers, streams, and rivers. The goal of the new program is to implement measures that will stop sewer overflows caused by the buildup of FOG.


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) developed model standards for a Grease (FOG) Ordinance as directed by State of Texas House Bill 1979 that became law in the 78th Legislative Session on September 1, 2003. While many larger cities have previously adopted a city-specific version of the TCEQ model standard, Allen and most other cities served by NTMWD currently only have programs to monitor grease trap cleaning that are managed under their Environmental Health Programs. Allen's proposed new FOG ordinance was designed by City staff using the TCEQ model standards for a FOG ordinance. The measures will increase the effectiveness of the City at eliminating FOG related issues.


The new program requires the City's Water and Sewer Division to conduct periodic inspections of grease traps, grease interceptors, and grit traps (collectively termed "grease traps"). The inspection is to ensure that the grease generator (the business that is responsible for the grease trap) is cleaning grease traps with sufficient regularity to minimize the chance of FOG bypassing the devices and getting into the sewer collection system. The standard for inspection is that the City will consider grease traps full when twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the volume of the grease trap is filled with the combination of floating grease and settled deposits on the bottom of the trap.


The City will use an industry standard grease and sediment-measuring device to determine the fullness of grease traps. Generators, under the existing Environmental Health Program, already report grease trap cleanings by having their servicing cleaning company provide a copy of the cleaning and disposal manifest to the City.


There are currently 285 generators in the City which consist of restaurants, day care centers, churches, and schools. Through a potentially several year implementation period of the FOG program, the City will conduct unannounced grease trap inspections. City staff will base inspection timing on when the City's records reflect the last cleaning took place. Based on the percent full when inspected and the known last cleaning, City staff will establish specific initial cleaning intervals. Repeat inspections will validate that an appropriate cleaning interval has been established.


The plumbing code requires that all new grease generators include and design their grease traps in accordance with established standards. Facilities that are "recommissioned" into food service space must add grease traps if the plumbing code so requires, and must prove-up that any existing grease trap(s) are sufficient to manage the new restaurant/facility's FOG generation. Staff will assign all new facilities with an initial 90-day (three month) grease trap-cleaning interval.


Staff has mailed all 285 stakeholders a letter with information about the new program. Additionally, staff is holding three (3) stakeholder meetings in June to discuss the new program. Staff has completed courtesy inspections of grease traps requested by a number of generators.


The ordinance is set with an effective date of July 1, 2017. The water and sewer division has established and trained a FOG crew and is prepared to continue courtesy inspections and begin scheduling their unannounced inspections immediately thereafter.


The Community Services Department's Water and Sewer Division will implement the FOG program at no new cost to grease generators/businesses. These inspection efforts are funded by sewer fees that are already being paid by water and sewer customers.   


Staff recommends that Council Adopt an Ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances by amending Chapter 14, "Utilities," Article II, "Sewers Generally,"  amending Section 14-2, "Definitions," and adding a new section 14-56, "Management of Fat, Oil, and Grease."


I make a motion to adopt Ordinance No. _________  amending the Code of Ordinances by amending Chapter 14, "Utilities," Article II, "Sewers Generally,"  amending Section 14-2, "Definitions," and adding a new section 14-56, "Management of Fat, Oil, and Grease."