Food Service Operations Code of Practice

Fats, oils and grease (FOG) going down the drain creates problems for your business, the sewer system, human health and the environment. Common sources of FOG include cooking oils and fats, salad dressing, sauces, meat and fish, nuts and seeds, and dairy and milk alternatives. Learn more about protecting your plumbing from FOG.

Without proper management and maintenance FOGs can:

  • build-up and clog pipes
  • reduce plumbing flow
  • cause odours and pest infestations
  • contribute to sewer backups
  • cost your business time and money

What can a food service provider do?

Proper FOG management (FOG Info Sheet) is a must for a responsible and sustainable business. Food service operators connected to a CRD sanitary sewer system are required to install and maintain a grease interceptor as outlined in the code of practice under Schedule I of the Capital Regional District Sewer Use Bylaw No. 2922. Simple actions like having a properly sized grease interceptor can reduce clean-out costs. Learn more in the Code of Practice for Food Service Operations.

Grease interceptors regulations and best management practices:

Install a grease interceptor

All food service operators that discharge wastewater with FOG must install one or more grease interceptors to treat wastewater before it enters the sewer system.

Simple actions like having a properly sized grease interceptor can help reduce clean-out costs, as an undersized interceptor will need to be cleaned more frequently. For help sizing a grease interceptor or ensuring existing treatment works are following requirements specified Bylaw No. 2922 please contact CRD Source Control

Note that food service operators who started operation on or after February 15, 2023 are permitted to use alternative treatment works or a combination of treatment works other than described in  Schedule I. These must meet certain requirements and be in compliance with a waste discharge permit or other CRD authorization.

Contact Source Control before purchasing or installing alternative treatment works.

Clean grease interceptor regularly

Grease interceptors (or grease traps) fill up at a rate that depends on how much FOG and solids drain into them daily.

Since every food service operation is different and may have more than one grease interceptor, it is important to monitor levels of FOG and solids and clean regularly. This will keep odour at a minimum, reduce the chance of sewage backup and save food operators time and money.

A grease interceptor must be cleaned:

  • at least every 12 months or
  • frequent enough to prevent FOG and solids from accumulating in the grease interceptor in excess of 25% of the wetted height of the grease interceptor. Learn more about grease interceptors in this video.

Do not use high flow water, chemical agents, enzymes, bacteria, solvents, or hot water (with temperature greater than 75°C) to help FOG move through the grease interceptor; this just moves the problem further down the line.

Contact a liquid waste hauler to set a regular cleaning schedule and dispose of waste properly. Work with the hauler and CRD to determine the right cleaning schedule for your business. When choosing a hauler, look for one that will fill out the records and fits your preferred schedule. You can collect used cooking oil for recycling and some companies will even collect it for free, converting it into eco-friendly products.

Used cooking oil haulers: Ergo and Redux.

Maintain accurate records

Records for grease and/or solid interceptors must be posted and easily accessible by the CRD for a period of two years and are subject to regular inspection. Operators must ensure that the trucked liquid waste hauler accurately records the cleaning conducted or provide documentation for self-cleaning treatment work.

Records must include:

  • date of activity (inspection or maintenance, repair or clean out;
  • type of maintenance or repair conducted;
  • quantity of material removed and disposal location;
  • location of disposal of the material removed and contact information for hauler services used by operation; and
  • receipts and invoices for all activities (kept for a minimum of two years).

Follow FOG best practices

FOG must be properly disposed of and not discharged to the sewer or storm drain systems.

  • Scrape food waste and FOG from plates, pans, trays, and utensils into the organics bin using a spatula before washing.
  • Pour oily liquids like gravy, sauce or salad dressing into the organics bin or a sealable container for later disposal in the garbage.
  • Avoid storing dishes or food in a sink not connected to a grease interceptor such as a hand wash sink.
  • Get on a regular grease interceptor cleaning schedule with help from your liquid waste hauler. Read more>>
  • Train staff on proper FOG management and appoint a staff member(s) to take ownership of your FOG management. Include this task within opening/closing routine.
  • Place signs in the kitchen as a reminder of what cannot go down the drain.
  • Audit the kitchen for fats, oils, and grease. Are the correct sinks being used to clean kitchen equipment coated in oil? Are there areas where fat and oil can be reduced or swapped for other ingredients? Are there areas where excess oil or fat may be used?

More ways to protect the environment

  • Never pour any fluids, wash/rinse water, wastewater or spills into storm drains, ditches, parking lots or outdoor work areas.
  • Educate staff about spill prevention and response and have a spill plan and kit available.
  • Clean out parking lot catch basins once a year or more often if needed.
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and reduce the amount used when possible.
  • Store waste products and outdoor containers under covered areas with appropriate spill containment. Inspect after a rainstorm to make sure no materials have leaked out.
  • If you operate in North Saanich, Central Saanich or Sidney, check out the CRD Saanich Peninsula Stormwater Bylaw No. 4168 requirements. If you operate in another municipality, refer to their stormwater bylaw.
  • Switch out your water-wasting once-through cooling (OTC) system for a new air-cooled system. Depending on the type of OTC system, the typical payback period is one to three years and rebates may be available.
  • Protect our drinking water. Operators must ensure proper connections and backflow protection are in place and maintained.