The City implemented a new grease control program in 2018. The purpose of the program was to reduce the amount of fats, oils, and greases (FOG) that enter the sanitary sewer system. FOG deposits are one of the leading causes of sewer backups. The most common "point-source" of FOG are food service establishments (FSE's). This program created a permitting system for all of the FSE's in McPherson. FSE's are businesses such as restaurants, cafeterias, small commercial kitchens (as in hotels), and some convenience stores. The "non point-sources" for FOG in sanitary sewers are from individual residential homes. All current Grease Control Permits have been issued for 2019.
“We have begun contacting the Permittee's to schedule their formal 2019 annual inspections. We held off doing any formal inspections in 2018 to give the businesses time to implement their own BMP's and begin keeping records,” Grease Management Coordinator Vern Bonham said. “BMP stands for "Best Management Practices". When the businesses were given their permit applications they were also given a long checklist of possible BMP's that they can, or should be doing on their own. Things like having proper signage posted, dry wiping pots and pans, and making sure grease disposal containers do not leak into storm sewers. They should also be keeping records of these activities. We have had numerous phone calls from people with questions on how to do these things. The response has been good, and positive.”
There are a total of 49 permitted facilities. 29 are Class A (some type of mechanical grease control device in service). 20 are Class B (no mechanical grease control device).
There were two new food establishments added in 2018. China Star and Italiano.
We met with China Star and Italiano to make our initial contact, discussed the grease control ordinance and permit application requirements, and answered any questions they had. They were both issued permits in October of 2018.
There were two closing in 2018. Delish and Anchor Grill.
City Limits changed ownership and is now known as "The Vibe". We met with them and provided them with a new permit application to complete.
We are working with several stores that have requested variances on their interceptor servicing frequency. Normally, the city requires grease interceptors to be serviced at least every 90 days. If a store can document that they can go longer between cleanings without exceeding the interceptors design removal capacity they can request that the cleaning interval be extended. We will be meeting with Domino's this week to review their documentation and determine if a variance will be granted. USD 418 has also requested a variance. Our plans are to handle variances during the annual inspections if scheduling allows it. If the stores can demonstrate, through documentation, that they can reduce the frequency of servicing without causing the interceptor to exceed its removal capacity we will grant them a variance.
We met with McPherson College. They are in the process of installing an automated oil management system for use with their two deep fat fryers. It is a self-contained system with both fresh oil storage and waste oil to be recycled. The change-out process is fully automated and eliminates kitchen staff having to manually empty the fryers into buckets and lugging them outdoors and dumping them in the waste oil receptacle bin. They have a service contract with the equipment provider to come and remove the waste oil collected in the recycle tank. The kitchen staff never have to handle the waste oil. This also eliminates the possibility of staff inadvertently putting waste oil down the drain and into the sanitary sewer. It looks like a very good system. It will be interesting to see if there is any noticeable improvement with the sanitary sewers. In the past, city sewer crews have recorded grease in the sewer lines downstream of the college.
A lot of time has been spent internally with getting our office set up with the new program. Forms had to be created for inspections, reports, and templates for businesses to use to track the various daily activities they should be recording.
“We are also working with the commercial grease haulers that are currently contracting with our businesses,” Bonham said. “They have all been very good in providing copies of the hauling manifests they use. Each one uses their own unique form. Some have everything we want, others are missing some records we need. We have decided to develop a manifest of our own that has all of the information we want. The haulers will have the option of using our form or they may continue to use their own form, provided it contains all of the necessary items for our program.”