Restaurateurs back City’s beefed-up rules on fat disposal
A new City of Hamilton (CoH) fat, oil and grease (FOG) policy is supported “wholeheartedly” by the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce (BCC) restaurant division.
FOG from commercial kitchens has been pinpointed as one cause of sewage balls washing up on Bermuda's beaches, an event which made headlines in April when they were noticed by beach goers. One described them for The Royal Gazette, saying: “There's a lot of them. It's gross. It's faeces and grease.”
FOG primarily comes from food service establishments that prepare and serve large volumes of food, the CoH said in its policy statement.
In addition to being a cause of grease balls on Bermuda's beaches, FOG also can cause the CoH sewer system to back up “resulting in a sanitary sewer overflow, where the sewer water flows out of a manhole cover and along the ground. These overflows can then contaminate the ground, the storm drain system and any property that the sewerage comes into contact with.”
Additionally, the CoH explained in its policy statement that once FOG gets into the city's waste water treatment facility: “FOG can clog sewer lines as it collects and coats the pipes, and this coating can get as hard as concrete,” adding: “Over time, sewer pipe flows can be restricted and the lines can even seal up completely.”
Restaurant division chairman Jean-Claude Garzia said: “The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce Restaurant Division wholeheartedly supports the new FOG policy.”
He added: “Our members have met with City Hall engineers and fully understand the new requirements. We have encouraged our members to read the policy and to do their part to keep unwanted fats oils and grease away from our waste stream. Indeed, we have sent it to every member of our division.”
The BCC included the CoH policy in their May 19 newsletter to members.
The food service establishment policy warns: “Lines clogged with FOG deposits require cleaning by the food establishment when it involves business-owned pipes and by the City for sewer system pipes.”
The policy also includes a requirement to have grease interceptors, and that they are accessible for inspection by the City Engineer. “All permitted food service establishments are required to install, operate, and maintain an approved type and adequately sized grease interceptor,” it says.
The list of conditions imposed by the CoH includes:
— Food waste disposal units are prohibited from being connected to the sewer.
— The decision to connect dishwashers to a grease trap will be made by the City Engineer on a case-by-case basis.
— Wastewater in excess of 180oF shall not be discharged into a grease trap.
— No enzymes or bacteria shall be introduced into the grease trap to break up the FOG.
The policy statement adds: “The improper management of FOG is not only a hazard to the environment and potentially the public's health, it also results in added financial burdens to both food service establishments and the City of Hamilton.”