Changing with the times: FOG Ordinance
Do you know how old your fats, oils and grease (FOG) management program is? When was the last time you took a look at it to see if it might be outdated? Many FOG ordinances are based on the available standards and technologies from the 1990’s and a lot has changed since then.
Unlike now, people relied on the postal service to deliver important documents. Faxing was revolutionary and considered a necessary business tool in the 1990s. Remember pagers? Maybe not, but these were the best way to reach someone quickly so they could call you back. Remember the days when the only way to reach someone outside of your house or office was with those coin-operated public phones in a rectangular box? The 90’s were a time where these payphones went to good use for business on the road. How about those heavy, yellow books with phone numbers? Remember those? Forget Facebook ads, a business would make a fortune selling ad space in the yellow pages of the phone book. If your business didn’t start with AAA you had no chance. What would we do without GPS? Well, the only way to find your way around town in the 90s was to use a good old-fashioned road map. Yes, a large piece of paper that didn’t yell out “turn left”.
When it comes to grease interceptors going back to the 1940s, grease traps were the reliable solution. Increasingly frustrated by undersized traps, utilities began looking for alternatives. Going into the 90s, the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) had announced a new type of device called a Gravity Grease Interceptor. Requirements were considered specific enough to warrant an appendix dedicated to the sizing and selection of these tanks. The fact that this ‘new’ technology was really just the adaptation of residential septic tanks for use as commercial grease interceptors was largely ignored. This didn’t seem to faze anyone either.
Just as with any technology, grease interceptors have come a long way since then. Today, hydromechanical grease interceptors (formerly called grease traps) come in all sizes and shapes. They remain the only passive type of grease interceptor that is tested and rated for performance. In recent years an important sub-category of high-capacity grease interceptors has emerged. These devices offer dramatically better efficiency and storage capacities, matching the performance of gravity grease interceptors.
If your ordinance mandates the use of gravity grease interceptors, perhaps it’s time to take a second look. After all, you’ve probably upgraded from the fax machine by now, and pagers have gone by the wayside along with payphones, the yellow pages and the road maps. As with any technology, grease interceptors have gotten better over the years. As a result, it’s important to keep up to date with the constant advances in modern technology.