Until recently, Miami-Dade had a greasy situation on their hands. Between 2007 and 2012, sewer-performance issues resulted in 50 million gallons of sanitary overflow into the environment. This drew the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their enforcement of the Clean Water Act. The resulting settlement required Miami-Dade County to pay $1 million in civil penalties – split almost evenly between federal and state governments. The settlement was also conditional on a significant investment to fix the ailing sewer system; estimated at a cost of $1.6 billion. Today, Miami-Dade is leading the way by taking a fresh look at grease interception technology and implementation.
Like all sewer systems in densely populated areas, Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) put major stresses on the system’s ability to manage sewage. Clogs and overflows are commonplace, resulting in back-ups and untreated discharges. Removing these blockages cost cities millions. To deal with this, and to comply with the EPA settlement, Miami-Dade developed and implemented the most comprehensive FOG Ordinance in North America. Now, only FOG control devices that meet Miami-Dade DERM’s most stringent standard may be installed and operated where wastewater and grease discharges into the municipal system. Management, maintenance and operations standards were developed along with construction compliance, inspection and enforcement protocols.
The Endura® line-up of Hydromechanical Grease Interceptors (HGIs) are providing the Miami-Dade restaurant industry a means of effectively managing FOG-compliance requirements. Endura® was the first HGI to be certified to a 99% removal efficiency, and have since qualified a total of 5 compliant solutions for this evolving market. To keep FOG from being released, HGIs rely primarily on the difference in specific gravity between wastewater and FOG. Grease is then retained for future removal without escaping into the sewer lines.
The ability to provide efficient separation of FOG from wastewater, especially in higher capacities, is crucial for urban areas. Aging sewer systems are sensitive to the pressure of clogs and/or reduced wastewater flow. Not only is this an enormous burden on municipal resources, the flooding that results can be debilitating for businesses and a health risk to city inhabitants. For companies like Endura®, this challenge presents an opportunity. Regulatory bodies, such as the EPA, as well as strapped municipal budgets will put additional pressure on cities to modernize their environmental protection standards. To illustrate the impact of this revolutionary new ordinance model, consider that following comparison. Miami-Dade DERM’s new FOG Control ordinance 2.0 requires that GI devices restrict FOG output from exceeding 100mg per litre of effluent. Studies done in other cities have shown outputs to be more than ten times this level. This means there will be a growing need to have innovative, effective and efficient grease interceptors to ensure cleaner, safer wastewater.
At Endura®, we believe that interception is the best defense. That’s why we work with cities, municipalities and regulatory agencies across the country to develop long-term solutions that benefit everyone.
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