Fats, Oils, & Grease Wastewater Discharge Permit

Fat, Oils and Grease Control Program for FSE's and Commercial Kitchens

FOG is a common term for the excess animal fats and vegetable oils that are generated during cooking and many food preparation steps. FOG enters the plumbing system through kitchen sinks and floor drains in food preparation areas. Over time, FOG sticking to the interior of pipes can lead to reduced hydraulic capacity or even a complete sewer blockage. When that occurs, the result will ultimately trigger a sewage spill, also known as Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO). Food Service Establishments have long been known to have the potential to adversely impact the sewer system by discharging FOG-containing wastewater from their kitchens. To comply with an order from the State Water Resources Control Board to control sewer collection system blockages and SSOs, the Orange County Sanitation District’s (OCSD) Board of Directors adopted the Fats, Oils, And Grease (FOG) Ordinance For Food Service Establishments (OCSD-25) effective January 1, 2005. OCSD-25 establishes the legal authority to prohibit Food Service Establishments (FSEs) from discharging FOG to the sewer system.

As a regional agency with trunklines throughout Orange County, OCSD shares overlapping operational authority throughout the cities and sewer agency districts within the county. In general, OCSD owns and maintains the large regional trunklines, while the 27 cities and agencies that form OCSD own and maintain the small sewers for the residents and businesses in their locales. OCSD relies on the cooperation and resources of the cities and agencies to implement FOG control programs for the FSEs that discharge directly to the local collection systems. By May 2006, the State required each city or sewer agency to develop and implement a FOG control program which suited its individual conditions and needs.  Though the specifics vary, the programs generally follow the basic approach of prohibiting FOG discharges and mandating the use of kitchen Best Management Practices (BMPs) at the FSEs in their jurisdictions.  OCSD’s FOG Control Program currently includes approximately 40 FSEs that discharge directly to OCSD owned trunklines in the City of Orange.

The following fact sheets provide more information on OCSD’s FOG Control Program, discharge prohibitions, and kitchen BMPs.  Limited Food Preparation Establishments that are only engaged in reheating, hot holding, or assembly of ready-to-eat food products, and as a result their wastewater discharge contains insignificant amounts of FOG, are not regulated under OCSD-25. Please call the number below for questions regarding the requirements in your area.

Fact Sheets

More Information:
Email: Merrill Seiler
Phone: 714-593-7436

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