A graphic of a storm drain with the text, "Where does your storm drain go?"The food services sector provides an important service to local residents, businesses and visitors and is an economic driver in the region.

A food services facility includes operations where food is prepared or made ready for eating and served to the public, including a restaurant, health or residential care facility, delicatessen, grocery store, bakery, butcher shop, fast-food outlet, cafeteria, bar or similar place.

As part of the normal operation of a food services facility, liquid and solid wastes are generated, and how we manage that waste can have a significant impact on our natural resources, public and private infrastructure, and human and environmental health.

Why wastes from food services operation are a concern

Food services wastes—especially fats, oils and grease—that go down the drain into the sanitary sewer, storm drains or septic system, can cause blockages to both your private property & public infrastructure, impact the wastewater treatment process including septic systems, and contaminate the environment.

Common regulations and best management practices (BMPs)

Waste generators are required to comply with all federal, provincial, municipal and regional regulations for proper waste disposal.

Under the Provincial Environmental Management Act and the Federal Fisheries Act, a waste generator may be held liable for any contamination or harm created as a result of the deposition or discharge of that waste. Proper disposal and management of wastes significantly reduces risks of environmental contamination and the requirement for remediation.

Proper storage, inventory of products and wastes, spills response plans and employee education on managing food services wastes are important factors in keeping our receiving waters clean.

To help you meet other municipal, provincial or federal conditions, or other agencies that may have additional requirements use BizPaL to help you identify permits and licenses required to operate your business.

Sanitary sewer - regulations and BMPs

All industrial, commercial or institutional facilities that discharge non-domestic wastewater to the sanitary sewer system operated by the CRD must follow the requirements of Regional Source Control Bylaw - CRD Bylaw 2922. The food services sector, as with many other sectors, has specific requirements under a code of practice with in the Sewer Use Bylaw.

Code of Practice for Food Services Operations prescribes the requirements and conditions for preventing or limiting the discharge of prohibited and restricted wastes into the sanitary sewer system.

The following is a summary of the key requirements under the Bylaw and Code of Practice (Schedule "I").

  • Install a properly sized grease interceptors (Schedule "I", Sections 2.12 - 2.13 A-E)
  • Ensure appropriate fixtures are connected to the grease interceptor (Schedule "I", Section 2.7 A-G)
  • Install a monitoring point (Schedule "I", 2.22 A-D)
  • Properly maintain the grease interceptor (Schedule "I", Section 2.4) (service providers directory)
  • Keep complete maintenance records of the grease interceptor (Schedule "I", Section 3.0)
  • Enzymes, bacteria, solvents, chemical agents, hot water or other means to move grease through a grease interceptor is prohibited.
  • More information on the Code of Practice for Food Services Operation and the Sewer Use Bylaw

Please submit a Waste Discharge Assessment Form if you are unsure whether this code of practice applies to your business.

Although compliance with Sewer Use Bylaw may help you meet other municipal, provincial or federal conditions, other agencies may have additional requirements. Use BizPaL to help you identify additional permits and licenses required to operate your business.

Storm drains and catch basins - regulations and BMPs

Prevent stormwater contamination and protect our aquatic environment by ensuring that food services waste does not enter the storm drain network (which includes ditches, catch basins and roadways, etc.).

  • Educate staff about the spill prevention and response.
  • When hosing or washing equipment or surfaces outside, do not let the runoff water enter the storm drain.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain any parking lot catch basins.
  • Store waste products under covered areas with appropriate spill containment.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your rooftop hood fan to prevent oil and grease overflows onto your roof.

If you operate on the Saanich Peninsula (North Saanich, Central Saanich and Sidney) then you need to know about Bylaw No. 4168 requirements.

Trucked liquid waste - regulations and BMPs

Liquid waste haulers can be hired to responsibly manage any fluids associated with food services.

It is important to note that the waste generator retains ownership of the waste even after it has been turned over to a waste hauler. This means the generator can be held responsible for the consequences of a spill or improper disposal of waste.

For that reason it is important to ensure that the hauler you hire can demonstrate that they are:

  • properly licensed,
  • have properly trained staff, and
  • will deal with your waste in a safe, responsible, legal and diligent manner.

Septic system  - regulations and BMPs

Wastewater pretreatment is not specifically required under CRD Bylaw 3479 - Onsite Sewage System Maintenance Bylaw. However, a grease interceptor properly installed and maintained will significantly reduce maintenance cost of the septic system and extend its useful life span.