Fats, Oils, and Greases Ordinance

Here are some details on our potential Fats, Oils, and Greases Ordinance. This seems like good responsible policy.

Here’s a summary of the Ordinance:

1.       All (400-500) Food Service Establishments (FSE) in Rochester will covered by the Ordinance.

2.       Existing City Ordinances prohibit the discharge of substances that could block the sewer or adversely impact the waterwater treatment process.

3.       Some existing FSEs currently pay septage haulers to dispose of FOG at significant expense because the City does not currently except FOG.

4.       The new FOG Ordinance brings the existing Ordinance into line with the State Plumbing Code relative to grease interceptors and defines the responsibilities for maintenance and recordkeeping of an FSE’s grease interceptor.

5.       All FSEs are “grandfathered” in based on their current status.  All FSE’s fall into one of the following statuses:

a.       No grease interceptor install serving the FSE

b.      Grease interceptor installed, but not properly maintained

c.       Grease interceptor installed and properly maintained

6.       New Ordinance to take effect January 1, 2016.  The State Plumbing Code requirements for installation of grease interceptors are already in and will be enforced.

7.       There is NO FEE for the City’s initial inception of each FSE.

8.       If an FSE is found to be in compliance with the Ordinance provisions related to maintenance and recording keeping of a grease interceptor a Compliance Letter will be issued.

9.       If an FSE is found to be in non-compliance because no grease interceptor has been installed to serve the FSE, the FSE will be issued a Letter of Non-Compliance.  The Letter will set forth the requirements for payment of a monthly Surcharge Fee for discharging FOG to the sewer collection system and the requirements for installing a grease interceptor if and when modifications to the building in which the FSE is located occur.

10.   If an FSE is found to be in non-compliance with the Ordinance provisions related to maintenance and record keeping of an existing grease interceptor a Letter of  Non-Compliance will be issued setting forth a date upon which a re-inspection will occur and the expected corrective actions by the FSE.  A re-inspection fee will be changed.  In addition, an Administrative Citation will be issued if the non-complaint issues are not resolved.

11.   An FSE may file for an Exemption to install a grease interceptor as set forth in the Ordinance.  A Fee will be changed for the processing of the Exemption application.  The FSE would be required to pay a monthly surcharge for the discharge of FOG to the sewer collection system.

12.   A FOG Program Coordinator position will need to be approved by the Council and hired in 2015 to implement and administer the Program.  FOG program revenues are anticipated to pay for the Program Coordinator position.

13.   No significant capital expenditures are anticipated during the first 2-3 years of the FOG Program implementation.

14.   The initially projected methane gas production and resultant energy savings at the WRP were over-estimated.  All the FOG Program benefits still exist, but the energy savings projections are less than originally estimated.

Chet and I look forward to our discussion of the FOG Ordinance and Program Fees with you.   We appreciate your support of the Program.


Richard W. Freese, P.E.

Director Public Works / City Engineer

Here are how the fees will work, the program will pay for itself, as it should.


An FSE that meets all requirements of state code and City of Rochester FOG Ordinance will not pay FOG Program Fees except for the Disposal Fees paid to their FOG Hauler.   The FOG Program applies only to “brown grease” which is contaminated wastewater grease.  “Yellow grease”, found in fryers, is separate and not part of this Ordinance or fees.

  1. 1.      Inspection / Re-inspection Fees
    1. There are NO Inspection Fees.  There will not be charge to a FSE for the city’s inspection of an FSE.
    2. All establishments will be charged for re-inspections.  A re-inspection occurs only if the FSE is found to not be in compliance with the Ordinance; more specifically if they have not followed the grease interceptor cleaning requirements set forth in the ordinance and state plumbing code and a follow-up visit by the city staff is required to assure compliance has been achieved.  The Re-inspection Fees  are:

                                               i.     $100 for first re-inspection

                                             ii.     $200 for second re-inspection

                                            iii.     $300 for third and subsequent re-inspections

  1. The amount of the Re-inspection fee is based on staff time required to travel to the site, perform the re- inspection, follow-up correspondence with FSE owner, and record-keeping.
  2. 2.     Sewer Utility Surcharge Fees
    1. Surcharge fees will be charged to any FSE that does not have a grease interceptor.
    2. Surcharge fees  promote the installation of grease interceptors and  provide a more equal treatment of FSEs with ownership and operating costs for the grease interceptors compared to those FSEs who  do not have to install and maintain  a grease interceptor.
    3. A surcharge fee of $50/month is to be established for each FSE.
    4. 3.     Exemption Application Fees
      1. Exemption application fees are $100 per exemption submittal and pay for staff time to review and issue exemptions.
      2. 4.     Administrative Citation
        1. An Administrative Citation will be issued for a FSE who fails to maintain their grease interceptor as required by the FOG ordinance.   Administrative Citations are established by Chapter 5 ($60 first offense).
        2. Re-inspection fees are in addition to the Administrative Citation.
        3. This will only be used when a FSE is not in compliance with the Ordinance.
        4. If compliance is not achieved, then a Notice of Violation will be issued.
        5. 5.     Disposal Fee
          1. A disposal fee of $30 per 1000 gallons ($30/septage hauler truck) with a $30 minimum is charged at the WRP for disposal of FOG.

NOTE: The fee is less than 1/3 of our current septage rate which would otherwise have been charged at our facility for disposal of this waste.  The fee is lower to encourage bringing FOG to WRP instead of land application. The fee pays for approximately 25% of the FOG program coordinator position), however, it is necessary to prevent illegal dumping and assist in tracking waste hauled to the WRP.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.